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CourierPost contractor to pay more than $37k for employment breaches

A Kapiti company contracted to CourierPost must pay more than $37,000 for multiple breaches of employment law following a Labour Inspectorate investigation.

Dhanoa Transport Limited and its sole director Arvinder Singh Dhanoa were penalised $12,000 and $4,000 respectively by the Employment Relations Authority for breaching minimum standards.

“Finding such poor practices connected to a well-known brand, like CourierPost, raises questions about the quality of their systems,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan.

“It may be troubling for Kiwi customers to find that, while they thought they were making use of a trusted brand, they were in reality engaging with a company exploiting vulnerable migrant workers.

“True business sustainability should have positive social outcomes, as well as economic and environmental – and this means at least meeting all minimum employment standards.”

Employees were paid $21,640 in arrears related to breaches of minimum wage and holiday pay, with the penalty also reflecting failure to keep compliant records, or provide employment agreements.

Among the breaches included the failure to pay the workers, mostly recent migrants from India, for tasks such as preparing the vehicles for delivery which could take up to two hours every day.

“In the case of Mr Dhanoa, as this shows, if you don’t do the research at the beginning, your business venture can end up costing much more,” says Mr Finnegan.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Every employer has obligations they must meet, and when they fail to do so too often it’s the workers at the bottom rung who are left bearing the cost.

“It also undercuts other businesses which do meet all their obligations. We are glad to see Mr Dhanoa has now taken steps to be compliant, and has repaid his affected employees.

“There is plenty of help out there for businesses to get employment right, with resources on employment.govt.nz, and tools such as business.govt.nz’s Employment Agreement Builder. (external link)

Anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, should call 0800 20 90 20 where they can report their concerns in a safe environment.

You can read the full Employment Relations Authority determination on the Employment Law Database.

Employment Law Database (external link)