A Northland petrol station is to pay $28,500 for committing serious breaches of employment law, following a Labour Inspectorate Investigation.
The Inspectorate found that IXL Petroleum and Gas Limited, trading as a G.A.S station franchise situated on State Highway One in Ruakaka, breached their obligation to pay at least the minimum wage, correct holiday pay, and to have made unlawful deductions.
“Every person employed in New Zealand must be provided with their minimum employment entitlements – anything less is unacceptable,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward.
The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) issued a $14,000 penalty to IXL Petroleum and Gas Limited, on top of the $14,500 in arrears which have been paid to four employees.
“One staff member regularly had their wages deducted – with the employer paying them for 20 hours per week, despite their own records showing the employee worked significantly longer hours.
“Another employee reported being charged for customer drive offs and the employer seeking a premium in exchange for supporting their visa – both of which are illegal in New Zealand.”
Other franchisors should take note and where necessary provide support to ensure their franchisees are meeting minimum employment standards, says Ms Ward.
“Not only do these cases mean penalties, if consumers don’t believe you pay your employees appropriately it can damage the brand as a whole.”
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment encourages anyone concerned about their employment, or the situation of someone they know, to call 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.