Source: Employment New Zealand
The Employment Relations Authority have issued a determination ordering SS & PK Jador Limited, trading as Clevedon Road Liquor in Papakura, to pay $50,000 for breaching minimum employment standards.
The liquor store’s director, Satnam Singh Jador, is also personally liable for $20,000 of penalties as a person involved in these breaches.
After proceedings were initiated in the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), the company repaid $97,361.66 to four employees after accepting minimum wage, premium and holiday arrears were owed. The employer had kept two sets of records – one to show the real/actual hours worked and another set to show hours worked as per the employment agreement.
The company made these repayments after mediation was undertaken by the Labour Inspectorate, this meant the employees affected didn’t have to wait until the ERA decision to receive their arrears.
The $50,000 and $20,000 penalties resulted from the company’s failure to provide the minimum wage for all hours worked, charging and receiving premiums, holiday and leave breaches and record keeping breaches.
The ERA agreed with the Labour Inspectorate that these breaches were intentional. They also noted this case had the hallmarks of exploitation, due to the vulnerable position of the workers affected with regards to their immigration status.
“These offences are a case of blatant disregard for minimum employment standards,” says Loua Ward, Regional Manager, Labour Inspectorate.
“The majority of employers do the right thing and treat their workers well. However, we continue to see workers in the liquor industry who are not receiving a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. Cases of worker exploitation in New Zealand will not be tolerated.”
New measures have come into force as of 1 July 2021 to help combat migrant worker exploitation. These include a new visa to support migrants to leave exploitative situations quickly and remain lawfully in New Zealand, as well as a dedicated 0800 number and web form to make it easier to report migrant exploitation.
To contact the dedicated migrant exploitation team, call MBIE on 0800 20 00 88 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am-5.30pm (excluding public holidays)).
To report migrant exploitation online, fill out the form on the Employment New Zealand website:
Learn about your rights and responsibilities as employees and employers through our Employment Learning Modules. These modules are free, and the module ‘An Introduction to Your Employment Rights’ is available in Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, and English.