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Whangarei sushi bar must pay $28,000 for employment law breaches

Following a Labour Inspectorate sting on sushi bars in Whangarei in May, Dayon Trading Limited has been ordered to pay $28,000 in penalties by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The Inspectorate found Dayon Trading Limited failed to pay 11 employees minimum wage and holiday entitlements, or keep proper wage, time, holiday and leave records.

“These breaches were not a one-off but a deliberate business practice, repeated over many years with numerous employees,” says Labour Inspectorate Regional Manager David Milne.

“Each of these workers was from Korea or Japan, and vulnerable due to their immigration status and likely unfamiliarity with their employment rights in New Zealand.

“The Inspectorate takes the exploitation of migrant workers very seriously, and we are working proactively to crack down on these practices with joint operations targeting at risk sectors.

“This penalty sends a clear message to employers that failure to provide workers with their minimum employment standards will not be tolerated,” says Mr Milne.

You can read the full ERA decision online (external link) .

The Inspectorate has followed up on the six Whangarei sushi shops served improvement notices as a result of the sting, and all are now meeting their employment obligations.

The Ministry encourages anyone in this situation, or who knows of anyone in this situation, to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website has more information about the Labour Inspectorate’s operation in Whangarei (external link) .