Company fined $5K for breaching Holidays Act

The case is a warning that employers cannot escape responsibility by on-selling their business

Company fined $5K for breaching Holidays Act

A restaurant owner has been fined for failure to comply with the Labour Inspectorate’s instructions relating to records keeping and staff’s public holiday entitlements.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ordered the employer to pay $5,000 for the failings.

The director of a Botany restaurant trading as Raviz, Ravi Singh, has sold the business but continues to operate another Auckland restaurant under the same name.

It was found that the Botany business failed to provide accurate pay and leave records. The employer also failed to pay time-and-a-half to a staff member who worked on 11 public holidays.

The Inspectorate issued an improvement notice, requiring Singh to audit payments made for public holidays and alternative holidays for all former employees and to pay any shortfalls identified.

Improvement notices give employers the chance to fix their compliance issues without penalty.

Even though Singh took some steps to rectify the errors, he failed to demonstrate that all the necessary payments had been made and compliance had been achieved.

Labour Inspectorate Regional Manager David Milne said the case demonstrates employers cannot escape responsibility by on-selling their business.

“Consumers are also voting with their feet and refusing to buy from businesses that fail to provide their staff with the legal entitlements,” said Milne.

In another interesting case involving the Holidays Act, the Trotting Club was fined $10,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after failing to pay more than 50 employees their correct holiday pay.

Late last year it was found that the Trotting Club set up its payroll system in a way that resulted in non-compliance with the Holidays Act, following a labour Inspectorate investigation.

The Trotting Club was originally issued with an improvement notice which gave it an opportunity to make necessary improvements and pay staff without a penalty being applied

However, the Trotting Club refused to cooperate and only did so once compliance action was commenced in the ERA by the Inspectorate.

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