No work records earns $6k penalty

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MD Dara Miah Horticulture Limited and its sole director, Mohammed Dara Miah, have been ordered to pay $6567.
MD Dara Miah Horticulture Limited and its sole director, Mohammed Dara Miah, have been ordered to pay $6567.

A Hastings business supplying workers to local orchards must pay $6567 after failing to provide written employment agreements or maintain wage, time, holiday and leave records for its 15 employees.

MD Dara Miah Horticulture Limited and its sole director, Mohammed Dara Miah, were ordered to pay a $6000 penalty and $567 in costs by the Employment Relations Authority.

The Labour Inspectorate took MD Dara Miah Horticulture Limited to the authority after Mr Miah failed to produce employment records for a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) labour inspector during a visit last December.

"Without maintaining proper records employers are unable to demonstrate they are providing employees with their minimum employment entitlements, such as minimum wage," says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Wellington Kevin Finnegan.

"While we acknowledge ignorance of his obligations as an employer played a part in his offending, Mr Miah had the ability to access professional advice and it is disappointing that it took a visit from the inspectorate before he was motivated to do so.

"It is simply not good enough for employers to sit and wait until they are caught out before taking action to meet their obligation as an employer to maintain employment records.

"This decision sends a strong message to employers that failure to maintain employment records will not be tolerated."

Employment law requires employers to be able to produce records for the number of hours worked by employees each day in a pay period, and the pay for those hours.

The information must be recorded in an easily accessible format and made available on request from an employee or from a labour inspector.

For employees who work regular hours each day for regular pay, to which they already agreed to with the employer, a statement of what the regular hours and pay is all that is needed to comply.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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