What you need to know!
Towards the end of last year there were a number of cases brought before the Employment Relations Authority with Employers breaching minimum employment standards. These fines are not small and can be quite detrimental to a business. For example; Harjit Singh and his business, Nekita Enterprises Limited, were fined in penalties a combined $125,000 by the Employment Relations Authority for operating a dual payroll system, in which employees were being paid less than minimum wage. Nekita Enterprises Limited was ordered to pay $90,000 in penalties for breaching employment laws. Singh had to personally pay a further $35,000 as the person responsible for the breaches. The penalties were on top of the $21,390, Nekita Enterprises had already paid out to the four former employees for wage and holiday pay entitlements. https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-business/christchurch-liquor-baron-harjit-singh-fined-exploiting-migrant-workers
It’s safe to say that employing people comes with certain responsibilities, so in order to start the new year strong, we thought this would be a great time to remind everyone that all employees have minimum rights, even if they are not written in an employment contract. They are not a contractual matter as you cannot force an employee to agree to less than the minimum standards, but you can negotiate with employees to better terms in an employment agreement.
To ensure you are being the best employer you can and acting in accordance with the law, below is a list of what is expected of you as an Employer.
All employees are entitled to;
- a written employment contract
- minimum pay - all work activities must be time paid for by the employer
- equal pay and equal rights
- a safe workplace
- accurate record-keeping
- break entitlements - Minimum rest and meal breaks for employee by length of work period [PDF, 278 KB]
- public holidays – 11 per year
- annual, sick, bereavement, parental and domestic violence leave
- flexible working arrangements
- the right to join a union
- Not having their pay deducted without their consent
The links above will send you to the relevant legislation, however, you can also find more information at https://www.employment.govt.nz/#gref
If you have any questions or concerns about whether you meet the minimum employment standards, please call us on 0800 HR LIVE. We want you to have all the support you need and if we can help in any way, let us know!