By Lynda Mathieson

Decisions made over the past few months by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) indicate that the Labour Inspectorate is clamping down on New Zealand workplaces to ensure minimum employment standards are met.

This follows the introduction of employment law changes to legislation in 2016 and in force since April 2017. Recent decisions also indicate penalties imposed are increasing.

Getting Tough

Tougher sanctions have been introduced to reinforce compliance.

There were a number of decisions made over recent months which confirm the crackdown;

  • A vineyard labour contractor was ordered to pay a $25,000 penalty for failing to keep employment records. The ERA also imposed an 18-month stand-down period, effectively stopping the contractor from recruiting migrant labour.
  • A labour hire company was ordered to pay $58,818 after being caught by the Labour Inspectorate for failing to retain employment agreements and failing to keep time and wage records
  • A courier company was fined $63,621 for breaching various rights of 15 migrant workers
  • A company in Hamilton was penalised $65,000 after it attempted to avoid minimum employment standards by deliberately mis-categorising their staff as contractors.

5 Key Requirements

With employers under increased scrutiny, it is urged that all ensure at least five key requirements are met:

  1. Each employee has a written employment agreement
  2. Employees receive, at least, the minimum wage
  3. Employees receive correct holiday pay and leave entitlements, and that these entitlements are accurately recorded
  4. Employee records illustrate the number of hours worked each day by an employee within a pay period, noting the pay for those hours
  5. Employees have access to employment records when requested

If you want to ensure compliance, please feel welcome to contact Lynda Mathieson 027 554 4747 for a complimentary review of your current employment arrangements.

Mathieson Chartered Accountants Ltd
“tax and Xero connected business advisers”