Indian restaurant fined $13,865.21 for employment breaches

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Wellington, July 10, 2017

An Indian restaurant in Timaru must pay $13,865.21 after a Labour Inspectorate investigation uncovered a string of breaches concerning three migrant workers.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ordered Kings Curry House Limited, trading as Tandoori King, to pay $6000 in penalties, in addition to the $7865.21 in arrears already paid to the workers.

Several defaults

Breaches revealed by the Labour Inspectorate included a failure to pay minimum wage, correct holiday pay, and keep holiday and leave records, as well as unlawful deductions.

Labour Inspectorate Regional Manager David Milne issued the following statement.

Every employer in New Zealand must provide their employees with all their entitlements, such as at least the minimum wage for every hour worked – anything less will not be tolerated.

Migrants exploited

While migrant workers have all the same employment rights as any other worker in New Zealand, they are less likely to know their rights and this makes them vulnerable. In this case the employer withheld final holiday pay from two of the employees when they left, and paid another below the minimum wage for all the hours worked after they failed to adjust the employees wage to match a rise in the minimum wage. While they fixed the issue when they became aware of it and paid arrears back to the employee, this penalty is a good reminder the onus is on the employer to get it right and ignorance is no excuse.

The Labour Inspectorate takes these kinds of cases very seriously. Not only do these employers breach the rights of their employees, they also gain an unfair advantage over the wider business community who are good employers and meet all their obligations.

MBIE encourages anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, to call our contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

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