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Blenheim vineyard contractor fined again

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017

A Blenheim vineyard labour contractor has been fined $25,000 after being found for a second time to have failed to meet its obligation to keep employment records.

KRSVP Ltd has also been put on an 18-month stand-down period from recruiting migrant labour.

The Employment Relations Authority had previously ordered the company to pay $7500 for failing to provide employees with a written individual employment agreement, or time or wage records.

Labour Inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan says that, after the earlier determination in November 2015, the company would have been well aware of its obligations.

"So it's extraordinarily disappointing to have to take them to the ERA a second time," he said.

"It seems to suggest some vineyard owners aren't seeking any assurance from their contractors, even from an employer such as KRSVP, whose poor compliance had already been exposed."

Without such assurances, vineyard owners wouldn't know whether those picking and pruning their vines were receiving their entitlements, putting the reputation of the industry at risk, Mr Finnegan said.

After the inspectorate requested KRSVP's employment records last July, company sole director and shareholder Sanjhe Prasad took seven months to provide "wholly inadequate wage and time records".

Among a number of breaches, the employment agreements Mr Prasad gave the workers were found not to have any meaningful description of the work to be carried out.

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