Posted on: Aug 30, 2018
A recent Authority case yet again highlights the serious consequences business owners face for not paying employees in accordance with their minimum statutory entitlements.
Penalties of up to $20,000 for each breach are being imposed and, since 1 April 2017, new measures are being enforced to stop employers, who do not comply with or who have breached employment law, from recruiting migrant workers. This means employers who receive penalties will be subject to stand-down periods where there are unable to hire migrant workers.
What happened at Burger King?
Antares Restaurant Group Limited (“Burger King”), is a food and beverage company which owns and operates eighty two Burger King restaurants throughout New Zealand.
Ms Desai was employed by Burger King as a salaried shift manager, with a salary of $39,500 per annum. Under her employment agreement she was required to work forty five hours per week over a five day period between Monday and Sunday. The agreement also stated that it was expected, given the nature of the industry that she may need to work outside of these, or additional hours for which payment would not be made.
Ms Desai claimed she was not able to take her breaks due to the level of her workload and that because her salary was so close to the minimum wage there were three fortnights that brought her below the minimum wage for the hours she worked.
It was determined that Burger King acted in breach of section 6 of the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (MWA) by failing to pay Ms Desai the minimum wage, on three occasions.
The Authority ordered a penalty of $3,500, to be paid to the employee. As a result of the penalty that was imposed, Antares Restaurant Group is now required to stand down from hiring migrant workers for a period of 12 months. This ban applies to 82 of the company’s restaurants. For more information about stand down periods click here.
To read the full determination of the Employment Relations Authority click here.
It’s a good time to do a WOF check on your business!
To ensure you meet your obligations as an employer and to avoid any sanctions that may be imposed for non-compliance, book a Minimum Entitlements Warrant of Fitness (WOF) with Three60 Consult. We will review your employment agreements, check you are maintaining accurate wage, time and holiday records and ensure you are paying your employees no less than the minimum wage.
For more information or to book your WOF, contact us on 09 273 8590 or email Lynn Booker; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.