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Employment Court's $100,000 ruling makes impact, says Labour Inspectorate

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered a kebab shop in Rotorua to pay $73,661 in penalties and arrears following a Labour Inspectorate investigation.

This decision comes as a recent Employment Court judgement guides the ERA towards higher penalties for law breakers.

Just Kebab Limited must pay a $40,000 penalty and $33,661 in arrears to an employee for its failure to pay minimum wage, holiday pay, or keep accurate employment records, with the employee also receiving half of the penalty.

This decision follows in line with the Employment Court’s decision to impose $100,000 in penalties against two South Island liquor store and dairy owners, who had been found to have committed serious breaches of employment law by the Labour Inspectorate.

“The Labour Inspectorate will not tolerate employers who fail to provide their employees with their minimum employment entitlements such as minimum wage or holiday pay,” says Labour Inspectorate General Manager George Mason.

“The recent decision from the Employment Court upholds the Inspectorate’s position that where there are multiple sustained and serious breaches, employers should receive penalties that reflect the gravity of their actions.

"It is not acceptable for workers to come to New Zealand to seek a better life, and then be under paid, over worked, and deprived of their most basic rights as employees in this country."

“The Employment Court’s decision should serve as a warning to any employer who is breaking the law that these kinds of breaches will be highly penalised."

“The Labour Inspectorate takes breaches of employment standards very seriously."

“It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure they provide employees with their minimum employment entitlements and meet all their obligations.”

The $100,000 penalty from the Employment Court judgement came after the Inspectorate appealed an earlier ERA decision which set penalties of $25,000.

You can read the Just Kebab Limited ERA decision (external link) , the recent Employment Court decision (external link) , and the original ERA decision (external link) it relates to, online.

If you are concerned about your employment situation or the employment situation of someone you know, please call MBIE’s Contact Centre on 0800 20 90 20 where your concerns will be handled in a safe environment.