An auto valet in South Auckland has been ordered to pay $241,451.66 in penalties and arrears after a Labour Inspectorate investigation found serious breaches of employment law.
“For six years or more Manukau Auto Valet Limited deprived some 221 employees of their most basic employment entitlements, failing to pay at least a minimum wage, or holiday pay to employees leaving the company,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward.
“The Labour Inspectorate takes these kinds of breaches very seriously as not only did the employer breach the rights of the people working for them, they also attempted to gain an unfair advantage over their law abiding competitors.”
The company has paid $96,451 in arrears to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for the 221 affected employees, and has been ordered to pay a further $145,000 in penalties after the Inspectorate successfully took the case to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).
Manukau Auto Valet Limited director and major shareholder Dharmesh Kumar pleaded ignorance, however the ERA agreed with the Labour Inspectorate’s position that this was not a mitigating factor.
This was reinforced by ERA authority member Vicky Campbell saying it is the obligation of all employers to understand and adhere to the law.
“The Labour Inspectorate will not hesitate to pursue employers who fail to provide such long standing requirements of New Zealand law for penalties which reflect the seriousness of their failures,” says Ms Ward.
MBIE encourages anyone who worked at Manukau Auto Valet Limited in the last six years to ring our Contact Centre on 0800 20 90 20 with their IRD number and contact details, as they may be owed arrears.