No holiday break for employment standards

Employment New Zealand is reminding businesses over the holiday season to keep employment standards up to scratch and be mindful of their supply chains to avoid the risk of a bad reputation.

“It’s the time of year when many people are working in hospitality, retail, casual and seasonal work, often working varied hours, and many are students. Whatever the type or sector of work, all staff need to be paid and treated in accordance with employment law – this includes their rightful wages and holiday pay and receiving their public holiday entitlements,” says Labour Inspectorate National Manager, Stu Lumsden.

These sectors are often areas where the most employment breaches take place at this time of year and continue to be a focus of the Labour Inspectorate.

In the hospitality and retail sectors alone, there were nearly 400 complaints made to the Inspectorate about minimum employment standards being breached in the last year.

“We’re reminding all businesses to be compliant. The Inspectorate will take action against non-compliant businesses – including businesses within supply chains. If there is a non-compliant business in a supply line, everyone who does business with them is tarred with the same brush, and this can have a negative flow-on effect to a brand and customers,” says Mr Lumsden.

“Employers like this also disadvantage other businesses that follow employment law, by giving them an unfair market advantage.

“Consumers also have an important role to play here, by being vigilant where they spend their money. We’d ask consumers to be mindful of where they buy and shop from, this season. Your money counts towards what business practices, including the treatment of workers, you find to be acceptable.”

MBIE encourages anyone who has information about minimum standards not being met to phone the Ministry’s service centre where calls will be handled in a confidential manner on 0800 20 90 20.

Employers' rights and obligations - Employment responsibilities