The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay over $116,000 in penalties after multiple breaches of employment standards.

Two employees made complaints to the Labour Inspectorate about numerous breaches of minimum employment standards. The employees claimed that they were being underpaid, that the employer was not keeping adequate time and wage records, and that unauthorised deductions were being made from one employee’s wages.

The Labour Inspectorate investigated the allegations, finding that the workers were not paid minimum wage for the hours that they worked, nor did they receive holiday pay or leave entitlements.

The employer also made unauthorised deductions from one of the employee’s wages, as well as charging him a premium in return for his employment. The employer also demanded that the employee pay him cash in return for support on his residency application.

Overall, it was found that the employer owed the employees $22,000 in unpaid wages and holiday pay, which the employer was ordered to pay back.

It was decided that the employees were in a vulnerable position because of their residency status, and that the employer consciously took advantage of this vulnerability.

The Authority ordered the company to pay $78,000 as a penalty, $10,520 as payment for the unlawfully obtained premium, and $1,200 for the unlawful deduction from the employee’s pay.

The employer was personally ordered to pay $38,000 as a penalty.

It is important to ensure that all employment requirements are met when operating as an business. A failure to do so can lead to costly consequences.

If there is confusion about your obligations as an employer, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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