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

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news