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


Migrant exploitation results in fine and home detention


Immigration New Zealand is warning employers; there will be rigorous prosecution of employers who exploit migrants

It follows the sentencing of retail company Sai Bliss Limited and one of its directors’, Bhupinder Bhardwaj in the Waihi District Court this week.

Failure to properly pay a migrant worker and observe his holiday pay entitlements over an almost 18 month period has resulted in a 12-month sentence of home detention for Bhardwaj and a $250,000 fine for his company.

It followed guilty pleas to charges of providing false information to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and exploitation charges under the Immigration Act for failing to observe the Minimum Wage and Holidays Acts.

An investigation into Sai Bliss and Bhardwaj found, despite agreeing to pay an employee on a work visa $18 an hour in his employment agreement, the employee was paid just $250 a week and consistently well below the minimum wage. In some weeks, the employee’s hourly rate of pay was under three dollars an hour. Bhardwaj told the employee his rate of pay would not be changed and also threatened to have his visa terminated.

Investigations revealed the employee was owed over $73,000 in minimum wage and holiday pay arrears.

INZ Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy describes the case as ‘significant exploitation’, and he’s pleased with the strong deterrence message the sentences send.

“The exploitation of migrant workers by paying them less than minimum wage, forcing them to work excessive hours and threatening their visa status – such as happened in this case - is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated by Immigration New Zealand.”

“This is happening all too often in NZ, and we won’t stand by and let it happen. Where there is evidence, we will investigate and prosecute.”

INZ encourages anyone who believes they are being exploited in the workplace to get in touch with authorities.

• To report a case of migrant exploitation. Contact the MBIE Service Centre 0800 20 90 20.

• For cases of people trafficking call the local police, or 111 (if it is an emergency).

• To report an issue anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via an online Crimestoppers form.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Lockdown, Masks And Aerosol Transmission

Ironically, our relative success in suppressing the exponential spread of Covid-19 is only increasing the pressure to ease back from those measures, on a regional basis at least. We seem set on course to start tentatively emerging from lockdown in about a fortnight, about the same time as community transmission is likely to be continuing to pick up steam. This partial surrender to the mounting economic (and political) pressure to ease the lockdown is likely to come at a cost... More>>


Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects

The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>






InfoPages News Channels