Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Majority of farmers breaching employment laws

Dairy farm visits show majority of farmers breaching employment laws


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate has released the results of the second phase of its national dairy strategy, revealing more than half the farms visited were in breach of employment laws.

The Inspectorate announced in November 2013 that it would be visiting dairy farms across New Zealand to check compliance with minimum employment rights.

Central region manager Kris Metcalf says the visits were part of a long-term operation, with particular focus on a practice involving the seasonal averaging of salaries and the failure to keep accurate time and wage records.

“In total 44 farms were visited between December 2013 and early April 2014. Of these, 31 were found to be in breach of minimum employment rights.

“The level of non-compliance is disappointing, with most of the breaches relating to insufficient record keeping. Farmers need to keep accurate time and wage records to ensure they are meeting their obligations for minimum wage and holiday payments.

“The Labour Inspectorate has taken enforcement action in response to the identified breaches, which has resulted in 22 enforceable undertakings and one improvement notice being issued.

“These farmers have been given 28 days to comply and the Labour Inspectorate is now actively following up compliance,” Mr Metcalf says.

Thirteen labour inspectors took part in this phase of the national dairy strategy. The northernmost farm was located in Kaitaia; the southernmost farm was located in Invercargill.

The Labour Inspectorate recovered arrears in one case, with a farmer paying an employee $6000 for breaching the Minimum Wage Act 1983. Several cases are still open with the possibility of more serious enforcement action pending.

Mr Metcalf says the next phase in the national dairy strategy will be focussed on farms employing migrant workers.

“Farmers need to lift their game in complying with minimum employment rights and can expect a strong enforcement response from the next phase.

“There are financial penalties for not complying with employment laws of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies.”

Mr Metcalf reminds farmers that examples of sufficient wage and time records can be found on the IRD and Dairy NZ websites.

MBIE encourages anyone concerned about their employment situation to call our contact centre on 0800 20 90 20.

[Ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news