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Hawera restaurant penalised for failure to provide employment records

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered Hawera restaurant Indian Zaika to pay $7,000 in penalties after it failed to provide evidence of compliant wage, time, holiday and leave records.

The restaurant owners, Walia Holdings Limited, were investigated by MBIE’s Labour Inspectorate for compliance with employment laws. The owners were issued with an Improvement Notice for failure to maintain and produce employment records for their employees at the request of the Inspector. Labour Inspectorate Central Regional Manager Natalie Gardiner says accurate time and wage recording is a basic requirement of the law.

“Without accurate records, employers are unable to demonstrate they are providing employees with their minimum entitlements,” says Mrs Gardiner.

The Labour Inspectorate brought the case before the ERA after a follow up investigation to check whether the Improvement Notice had been complied with. Despite repeated requests, the company failed to produce records, or demonstrate compliance with the Improvement Notice.

The Authority determined the company was in breach of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

“Employers are required by law to produce employment records when requested by a Labour Inspector. This ruling sends a clear message to employers that failure to do so will not be tolerated,” says Mrs Gardiner.

Read the ERA determination (external link) .

The new employment standards legislation that came into force on 1 April 2016 reinforces employer obligations to keep accurate employment records. The law requires employers to be able to produce records for the number of hours worked by employees each day in a pay period, and the pay for those hours. The information must be recorded in an easily accessible format and made available on request from an employee or from a Labour Inspector.

For employees who work regular hours each day for regular pay, to which they already agreed to with the employer, a statement of what the regular hours and pay is all that is needed to comply. It could be set out in the employment agreement, for example.

Keeping accurate recording has more information on pay details for both wage and salaried employees.

MBIE encourages anyone who believes their employer is in breach of employment law to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20, where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.