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

Werewolf: John Pilger, And Making War On China

In July, the New Zealand Defence Force is scheduled to join the latest round of Talisman Sabre, a huge training exercise that Australia carries out biennially in conjunction with all four arms of the US military.

Last time around in 2015, New Zealand contributed 650 personnel, 45 vehicles and two of our $NZ771 million dollar fleet of NH90 helicopters to this regional war game.

What’s weird is that Talisman Sabre is actually a rehearsal for an assault on China and its ability to defend itself. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite. More>>

ALSO:

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news