New Zealand businesses fined for employment breaches – do you have the correct contracts in place?

A Hamilton-based newspaper is the latest firm to be fined by the Government for a string of employment breaches that include not having wage, time, holiday or leave records in place.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ordered Educasia Media Limited, which trades as Asia Pacific Times, to pay $87,148 in arrears and $54,000 in penalties.

The investigation found that the employer failed to provide minimum wage, correct holiday pay, keep wage, time, holiday or leave records, and demanded a premium for employment.

In October, Christchurch-based dumpling supplier Dai’s Food Limited was also fined for failing to keep holiday and leave records, provide employment agreements for all employees, correctly pay public holidays, and unlawfully deducted wages.

No contracts consequences

“Every employer must meet their obligations under New Zealand employment law, there are no excuses,” said Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward. “We want to be able to leave businesses to do their business, rather than bringing them through the ERA because of record keeping failures.

“Failure to meet obligations can mean penalties, restricted access to migrant labour, and damage to the reputation of your business.”

Next steps for employers

There are a number of legal requirements employers need to have in place, including contracts of employment.

A contract of employment is essential for all business with employees. Not only are these agreements a legal requirement, they outline the terms and conditions of employment and ensure that both parties have the same expectations about the role and working conditions.

There are different types of employment contracts; however a contract of employment must contain certain clauses and be in effect from day one of an employee’s employment.

Need to create employment agreements for your business? The Government’s Employment Agreement Builder is a useful tool for basic agreements, alternatively talk to us about our tailored executive recruitment packages which includes all steps to effective employment. We can also review your current employment agreements to ensure they are up to date.

Call (03) 366 4034 or email info@eqconsultants.co.nz