19 July 2024

Liquor store pays $97,000 to underpaid migrant workers after probe

Clevedon Road Liquor in Papakura has repaid $97,361.66 to four employees after accepting minimum wage, premium and holiday arrears were owed after proceedings were initiated by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The employer had kept two sets of records – one to show the real/actual hours worked and another set to show hours worked as per the employment agreement.

The company made these repayments after mediation was undertaken by the Labour Inspectorate, this meant the employees affected didn’t have to wait until the ERA determination to receive their arrears.

Penalty for liquor store
Clevedon Rd. Liquor, Papakura has been fined for employment breaches

ERA have issued a determination ordering SS & PK Jador Limited, trading as Clevedon Road Liquor in Papakura, to pay penalties of $50,000 for breaching minimum employment standards. The liquor store’s director, Satnam Singh Jador, is also personally liable for $20,000 of penalties as a person involved in these breaches.

Thee two penalties resulted from the company’s failure to provide the minimum wage for all hours worked, charging and receiving premiums, holiday and leave breaches and record keeping breaches.

The ERA agreed with the Labour Inspectorate that these breaches were intentional. They also noted this case had the hallmarks of exploitation, due to the vulnerable position of the workers affected with regards to their immigration status.

New measures have come into force as of 1 July 2021 to help combat migrant worker exploitation. These include a new visa to support migrants to leave exploitative situations quickly and remain lawfully in New Zealand, as well as a dedicated 0800 number and web form to make it easier to report migrant exploitation.

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