Ministry highlights the consequences of migrant abuse - Employment Law Update November

Updated: Nov 14, 2019


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has alerted the public to the consequences of substantial breaches of employment standards in an item on a recent case before the Authority. In the most recent determination on the case, http://www.nzlii.org/cgi-bin/download.cgi/cgi-bin/download.cgi/download/nz/cases/NZERA/2019/597.pdf, the Authority awarded penalties of nearly $120,000 against a business and the family members who ran it.


Factors weighing in favour of these substantial penalties were:


  • the inherent vulnerability of seven migrant employees

  • the failure to pay the ordered arrears

  • the lack of contrition

  • the obvious attempts to simply “carry on” in a similar vein with a new restaurant business, and

  • the need for both deterrence and consistency.


For the Ministry’s views on the case, which it has highlighted as it seeks suggestions from the public on combatting migrant exploitation, see https://www.employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/christchurch-restauranteurs-penalised-120000-failure-repay-workers/


Reproduced with the permission of Wolters Kluwer NZ