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Published 14 November 2023 | 2 min read
85 Auckland businesses face scrutiny in migrant exploitation sting
In a startling revelation, the Labour Inspectorate recently unleashed a crackdown on 85 Auckland businesses, uncovering a web of potential migrant exploitation and violations of minimum employment standards. This revelation comes in the wake of a three-day operation carried out in conjunction with Immigration Compliance and Investigations, responding to formal complaints against retail and hospitality businesses scattered across Auckland.
The hidden truth
The investigation was triggered by Newshub's exposé, shedding light on the appalling conditions faced by dozens of migrants crammed into unsanitary and overcrowded homes in Papakura. This grim reality set the stage for the large-scale operation, sending ripples through the business community and underscoring the pervasive nature of the issue.
Head of Compliance and Enforcement for the Labour Inspectorate, Simon Humphries, emphasized the seriousness of the situation. "We take migrant exploitation seriously," he declared, revealing that the operation aimed not only to educate but to hold accountable those who deliberately exploit migrants.
The operation unearthed disturbing levels of non-compliance at the 85 businesses visited. Breaches ranged from wages below the minimum wage rate to no employment contracts, employee holiday and leave entitlements being withheld, breaches of visa conditions, and even employers demanding money from employees. The extent of these violations paints a concerning picture of the employment landscape in Auckland.