Building companies penalised for turning blind eye to employment breaches

On: 25 June 2018

Two Auckland building companies operated by a sole director have been penalised $7,500 for serious breaches to employment law as well as failing to comply with an improvement notice.

Juno Homes Limited and EXP Builders Limited failed to keep employment records, ensure workers were paid correct holiday pay, and to comply with an improvement notice issued by the Labour Inspectorate in March last year.

Labour Inspectorate regional manager Jeanie Borsboom says, “The companies, directed by Mr Chunnan Li, were ordered to pay $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. He has also been given 20 days to comply with the Inspectorate’s improvement notice.

“It’s always disappointing to see employers breaching employment law, and even more so when an opportunity is given to them to make things right via an improvement notice,” says Ms Borsboom.

“Mr Li ignored his opportunity to ensure his workers were receiving their most basic employment rights and that’s the type of behaviour the Inspectorate will not tolerate. Where improvement notices are not complied with, employers will face further penalties.

“There is no excuse for employers to not be up to speed with their responsibilities. When we issue improvement notices ordering employers to amend poor employment practices, these must be taken seriously, otherwise we will seek penalties through the Employment Relations Authority.”

“All businesses in New Zealand, no matter what business they may be in, need to provide employees with their basic employment rights, such as providing employment agreements and the correct minimum wage and holiday pay.”

“If businesses aren’t able to do so in-house, they need to seek expert advice,” says Ms Borsboom.

There are a range of tools available to ensure employers are compliant including Employment New Zealand’s website, Business.govt.nz’s Employment Agreement Builder and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) service centre.

Anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, should call 0800 20 90 20 where they can report their concerns in a safe environment.

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