The Labour Inspectorate recently undertook a similar operation in respect of the dairy farming industry. Unfortunately, it found that only 30% of the employers it inspected were compliant with New Zealand's employment laws. Enforcement action has since been taken against these non compliant employers. Hopefully, when the inspections start here in Christchurch, the results will not be the same!
The Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand have also just been allocated an additional $7million to have additional immigration officers, compliance officers and investigators operating here in Christchurch. This means that they now have the resources to undertake additional checks and identify non-compliant employers. Therefore, if you have not done so already, now is the time to check your records!
A good place to start is with immigration compliance.
- Do you have evidence to prove that all of your employees are working lawfully, even those you think are New Zealanders?
- Have you made a note of when visas are expiring, so you can ensure that employees don't work beyond their expiry dates?
You could be fined $50,000 for employing an unlawful worker, so it is worthwhile checking. If you would like any help or advice in checking or resolving employees' visa issues, Nicola Appleton our immigration guru would be happy to help.
The Labour Inspectorate will also be checking compliance with employment laws. Before being visited by the Inspectorate, we recommend checking:
- Do you have copies of all of your employees' signed employment agreements on file?
- Are your wage and time records up to date?
- Are you making any deductions from employees' wages/salary? If so, do you have authority to make those specific deductions?
Unfortunately, you cannot rely on a generic clause in the employment agreement to make such deductions. If you would like any help with your employment agreements or employee arrangements, Peter van Keulen in our employment department would be happy to help.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.