Auckland strawberry grower fined $6000 for poor records after complaints from workers

"There is no excuse for failing to meet these basic employment requirements," said Labour inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan. Photo / File
"There is no excuse for failing to meet these basic employment requirements," said Labour inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan. Photo / File

An Auckland strawberry grower has been fined $6000 for not providing proper records - including employment agreements for its employees - despite being warned earlier.

The Employment Relations Authority said A and J Zaknic & Sons Ltd, based in Kumeu in north-west Auckland, had failed to properly pay its seasonal workers and keep accurate records despite being given warnings.

An investigation was carried out by a labour inspectorate from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment after continuing to receive complaints from workers.

The inspectorate visited the farm between last November and February of this year and found the company had failed to provide written employment agreements or keep good records of holiday and leave granted to workers.

Labour inspectorate regional manager, Kevin Finnegan, said it was vital for those in the sector to meet obligations as an employer.

"As we head into strawberry-picking season, there will be an influx of seasonal workers and the inspectorate will not hesitate to crack down on any growers who fail to meet obligations.

"Workers must be provided with at least their minimum employment entitlements, including being paid minimum wage, having a written employment agreement in place, ensuring all holiday is recorded accurately and that those records are made available,'' he said.

"There is no excuse for failing to meet these basic employment requirements and the onus to make sure that minimum employment standards are provided for sits squarely with the employer.''

Finnegan said they would continue to monitor employers' behaviour in relation to such issues.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 10 Dec 2016 00:34:36 Processing Time: 969ms