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Employment Law - Shoddy employers take note!

December 15, 2016

As an employment lawyer in Auckland, I have to advise mostly decent employers on employment law, which is quite demanding especially for small businesses. But there are some shoddy and even dishonest or otherwise unscrupulous employers out there.

Just Kebab Ltd was ordered by the ERA to pay a $40,000 penalty and $33,661 in arrears to an employee for failing to pay the minimum wage and holiday pay and failing to keep accurate employment records. The employee was entitled to half the penalty.

It’s another example of immigrants being victimised by unscrupulous employers. All too often, employers of this kind are also immigrants. The case also demonstrates that the employment “courts” are ready and willing to impose significant penalties for blatant breaches of employment law, especially where the breaches are repeated or multiple or are otherwise significant.

Like many employment lawyers in Auckland, I also advise employees when they want to have an employment agreements checked or feel that they have a personal grievance. The first step is usually to try to use the mediation services provided by Employment New Zealand but it can be difficult where the employer isn’t reputable and isn’t co-operative. An employer might refuse to participate in mediation and it may be necessary to file proceedings in the ERA, which will then order mediation.

This update provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you want legal advice on any of these issues, please feel free to contact me.

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