Three60 Consult Logo

Christchurch Construction Company Penalised Labour Law Breaches

Posted on: Jan 30, 2015

28 January 2015

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered wage arrears be paid to workers and imposed a penalty on a Christchurch construction company for failing to provide the minimum wage and keep accurate employment records.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate investigated Verney Construction Limited last year after receiving a complaint from two employees involved in the Christchurch rebuild. The investigation found that the employer had been treating the workers as contractors when in fact they were employees. They had not received the minimum wage or their final holiday pay and were not provided with employment agreements.

The Inspectorate brought the case before the ERA after the employer failed to provide employment agreements, time, wage and holiday records despite multiple requests and the issuing of an Improvement Notice.

The ERA found that the employees should be paid the sum of the minimum wage and holiday pay arrears calculated by the Inspector (including interest). They also issued Verney Construction with a penalty of $2,000 for breaching orders of compliance.

Labour Inspectorate Southern Regional Manager Stuart Lumsden says employment records are required to be kept by law and failure to comply with a labour inspector’s request for them is a breach of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

“This is a disappointing trend that we are starting to see nationally — employers treating employees as contractors to avoid keeping records, making payments to IRD and paying the minimum wage and holiday entitlements.

“The Labour Inspectorate takes any breaches of minimum employment rights seriously. We are pleased the Authority has issued a penalty, sending a clear message to employers that failure to comply with the minimum labour standards will result in enforcement action,” says Mr Lumsden.

The Ministry encourages anyone in this situation, or who knows of anyone in this situation, to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.

The Employment Relations Authority’s determination is available here.

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

 

Disclaimer

This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.

Disclaimer

This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Christmas is coming…

Christmas is coming…

Once Labour Day has been [yes, believe it or not it’s this coming Monday], the next public holidays are at Christmas and New Year. It always feels like employers have to put a bit more thought into Christmas and New Year because: there are four public holidays; this is a time that many businesses have their annual closedown period; many employees take their annual leave; some employees don’t have enough leave to cover this period; some employment agreements have special rates for these public holidays; and, let’s face it, it is a busy busy busy time. In the next few weeks, my colleague, Tasneem Begum, and I will be offering a free webinar for those employers who want a bit more information around those tricky calculations for leave at this time of the year. We will also be able to answer the questions you have and the challenges you face with leave during the Christmas/New Year period. You are not alone with the questions you have – Questions we are often asked at this time of the year are about employing staff to cover the busy Christmas period

Read More
What the heck is going on with pay?

What the heck is going on with pay?

While we are conscious of the impact that inflation is having on wage and salary conversations, there are four other levers that have been, and are being, used to bring about fundamental change and significant uplift to pay in New Zealand. The Government is using these levers to drive increases in pay at various levels in ways that we may not be conscious of. However, when brought together as a single thread, they are having a big impact.

Read More
To Mediate or not to Mediate

To Mediate or not to Mediate

To mediate or not to mediate – that is the question… While William Shakespeare put into verse Hamlet’s soliloquy in endless agonising verse about dire choices with absolutely no chance of a happy ending – it is not so with mediation. Change the name, and the thinking around the word mediation. Let’s start thinking about it and calling it “an opportunity”. That’s really what mediation is; an opportunity for parties in conflict to come together and sort out their problem(s). It doesn’t have to be the only option, but it should be considered as a first step.

Read More
PREV NEXT