A Nelson employer has been fined almost $37,000 for failing to pay five of his former employees from July to November in 2009.
The Department of Labour’ s case against Mr Bun Thuon Lam, a horticultural labour contractor, highlights the need for all employers to comply with minimum employment rights.
As well as reparations of $31,868.16 to the five former workers, Mr Lam was also ordered to pay penalties of $5000.
The Employment Relations Authority found that Mr Lam also failed to pay the employees the minimum wage and had previously taken deductions from their wages without their agreement.
The Department’s Nelson Service Manager, Annette Baxter, says this was a serious breach of the law. Not only did Mr Lam fail to pay the workers properly he did not provide them with minimum employment rights.
“Minimum rights are there for a reason – to protect employers and employees. If they are not complied with, employers can expect a visit from a Labour Inspector and possible follow up action,” Mrs Baxter says.