New Zealand Law Society - Courier breached migrants’ employment rights

Courier breached migrants’ employment rights

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An Auckland courier must pay $63,621 after a Labour Inspectorate investigation found DK Transport Ltd to have breached the rights of 15 migrant workers.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ordered the company to pay a $40,000 penalty, on top of the $23,621 already paid in arrears to workers, after the Inspectorate uncovered 58 breaches of minimum employment standards.

The ERA decision [2017] NZERA Auckland 97 says these breaches include failing to pay minimum wage, provide written employment agreements, deducting wages without written consent, withholding wages for public holidays, and failing to keep accurate employee wage, time and holiday records.

“All employers in New Zealand must meet minimum employment standards, it doesn’t matter whether you have 1,000 employees or five,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager David Milne.

“We take these kinds of breaches very seriously, with many of the impacted employees young, migrant workers who may not have been aware of their minimum employment entitlements.

“The unlawful wage deductions made by this employer and their failure to pay minimum wage meant workers, and ultimately their families, have gone without.

“There is no doubt that these workers have been wronged from the outset of their employment relationship with DK Transport, and we hope that the penalties imposed serve as a deterrent to other employers,” says Mr Milne.

Of the penalty, $17,750 is to be paid to the workers, with the Labour Inspectorate to work with DK Transport to locate ex-employees to arrange payments for the harm they suffered.

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