The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay $25,000 in wage arrears, a $40,000 penalty, and $4,500, in costs for breaching its workers’ minimum entitlements.

The employer had been issued with a compliance notice by a Labour Inspector. 18 months later, the Labour Inspector initiated an audit and requested copies of all timesheets, records of holiday pay and leave, and pay records.

The employer provided a number of incomplete or incorrect documents. In respect of holiday pay and leave entitlements, they provided none at all. Additionally, it had become apparent during the audit that there were completed timesheets that had dates allocated to days that had never occurred in the corresponding calendar year.

The Authority found there were breaches in the requirement to maintain accurate time records in either a written form, or a way that could easily be accessed and converted into written form. The workers had also been significantly underpaid in their wages and holiday pay.

Furthermore, the employer failed to accurately record hours worked, or holiday and leave entitlements.

When it imposed the penalties, the Authority categorised the breaches as intentional, rejecting explanations from the employer.

It is essential that employers maintain accurate and up to date records of all hours worked and pay-related matters. Employers must be able to produce these records on request, and if unable to do so may face significant penalties.

If you are concerned you are not receiving your minimum entitlements, it pays to consult a professional experienced in the area.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer