New Zealand Law Society - MBIE finds employment breaches by Chorus subcontractors

MBIE finds employment breaches by Chorus subcontractors

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A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting Chorus subcontractors has found that nearly all of the subcontractors identified are breaching employment standards, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says.

The Inspectorate completed 75 proactive visits as part of a joint operation with Immigration New Zealand and Inland Revenue in June of this year. Initial analysis identified 73 subcontractors rolling out broadband networks throughout Auckland had breached minimum employment standards.

The investigations represent the first phase of inquiry into employment breaches within the data cabling industry and further are planned across New Zealand.

“We were made aware that migrant workers in the broadband industry were potentially being exploited by various subcontracting companies undertaking work on behalf of Chorus", says Labour Inspectorate National Manager Stu Lumsden.

"Breaches we observed to-date included contracting employers failing to maintain employment records, pay employees’ minimum wage, holiday entitlements, and provide employment agreements.

In a number of cases it was found that contractors deliberately used practices such as ‘volunteering’ or extended trial and training periods without pay.

MBIE says the Labour Inspectorate is continuing with its investigations with a view to taking a wide range of compliance actions.

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