The Page Corner Café that operated in Kingsland, Auckland, must pay $30,405 after a Labour Inspectorate investigation uncovered a series of breaches of two migrant workers’ basic employment rights.
The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ordered Sherrie and Henry Limited, which traded as Page Corner Café where Ms Sherrie Lin is the sole director and shareholder, to pay $20,000 in penalties and $10,405 in arrears to its workers.
Breaches uncovered by the Labour Inspectorate included failure to pay minimum wages, correct holiday pay, provide an employment agreement, and keep wage, time, holiday and leave records.
“The two workers in this case were left significantly out of pocket as a result of the employer’s actions. One employee is owed arrears of $9,377 and the other owed $1,027,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager David Milne.
“Addressing the exploitation of migrants in the hospitality sector is a priority for the Labour Inspectorate.
“Migrant workers employed in restaurants, bars and cafes can be particularly vulnerable in understanding their basic employment rights, and employers must know this mistreatment will not be tolerated.”
As well as not paying the minimum wage, final holiday pay was also withheld at the termination of employment for both employees.
“One employee was left stressed after continually asking to be paid, and the other recognised their employer assumed the exploitation would not be reported to the Inspectorate in order to protect their worker’s visa.
“The Labour Inspectorate takes these kinds of cases very seriously. Not only do these employers breach the rights of their employees, they also gain an unfair advantage over the wider business community who are good employers and meet all their obligations.”
MBIE encourages anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.