Publisher to pay $140K over employment breaches

The Labour Inspectorate found one employee had been asked to pay her own salary

Publisher to pay $140K over employment breaches
Employment Relations Authority has ordered a Chinese newspaper in New Zealand to pay more than $140,000 for employment breaches after an investigation by the Labour Inspectorate.

Educasia Media Limited, which trades as Asia Pacific Times, has to pay $87,148 in arrears and $54,000 in penalties for failure to provide minimum wage, correct holiday pay, keep wage, time, holiday or leave records. 

The ERA found three employees of Educasia Media Limited – whose sole shareholder and managing director is Zhishen (Oscar) Cui – were all Chinese nationals. They were underpaid more than $30,000 in minimum wage and $6,000 in holiday pay.

The Labour Inspectorate also found that the company demanded a premium for employment. The worker who paid a premium was also required to pay her own wages for the duration of her employment.

“These are significant breaches of New Zealand employment law, including some of their employees’ most basic rights,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Natalie Gardiner.

“Not only did the employer not pay minimum wage and holiday pay, they further sought to exploit the vulnerable position of one of their workers by demanding a $50,000 premium in return for employment. This is completely unlawful,” she said.

“Anyone who is found to be demanding their employees pay for employment will be made to return this money, and will have penalties sought against them.”

Of the $54,000 in penalties $28,800 is to be awarded directly to the affected employees.

Because of this, Educasia Media Limited will be placed on the stand down list, preventing it from sponsoring new visas to recruit migrant labour for two years.

Both the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand are committed to working together along with our migrant communities to eliminate this exploitative practice.

Information on minimum employment entitlements is available on in 14 languages for the benefit of employers and employees.

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