The Employment Relations Authority has fined an employer $70,000 in respect of breaches of correct payments for 25 of its employees.  The company had not correctly paid annual leave, alternative holiday pay and public holidays pay and also did not pay employees the hourly rate in their contracts.

The defence put forward by the company was that the Director did not agree with New Zealand employment law and ran his business “how it is in Japan”.

Unsurprisingly, the Employment Relations Authority was not impressed with that defence.  The employer has paid $23,927 to its employees being the incorrect pay shortfalls.  The ERA said that the penalty to be imposed would have been almost $229,000 but after taking into account the employer’s cooperation with the Labour Inspectors and the payment back to employees plus the financial circumstances of the employer it reduced the fines to a total of $70,000.

The company has also been banned from sponsoring visas for migrant workers for two years.

Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer Wellington