Hastings businesses penalised for failure to provide records

On: 17 June 2015

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered three Hawke’s Bay horticulture contractor businesses to pay a total of $22,500 in penalties for failure to provide employment records to the Labour Inspector.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate launched an investigation into Kiwi Labour Solution (2013) Limited, OOMDA New Zealand and Positive Force 2014 Limited after a joint audit last year by the Labour Inspectorate, Immigration New Zealand and Inland Revenue to check for compliance with employment, immigration and tax laws.

The Inspectorate asked the employers of the orchard workers to produce employment agreements, and records of time, wage, holiday and leave to determine whether they were compliant with the employment laws.

Labour Inspectorate Central Regional Manager Kevin Finnegan says the requests were ignored and the Inspector brought the case before the ERA.

“The Employment Relations and the Holidays Acts require employers to retain employment records and produce them upon request by a Labour Inspector. It is unacceptable that some employers think they can evade the law by ignoring these requests,” says Mr Finnegan.

The ERA ordered each business to pay $7,500 in penalties to the Crown, stating that “The failures are a serious breach of the employers’ duties to abide by relevant employment and holiday legislation.”

All three businesses were represented by Gautam Kapur during the investigation. The ERA named him as sole director of Kiwi Labour Solutions and Positive Force. Vijay Rajan Kapur was named sole director of OOMDA New Zealand.

Employers who breach the employment law will be subject to enforcement action which can include penalties of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies.

The Ministry encourages anyone in this situation, or who knows of anyone in this situation, to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.

Read the ERA determination

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