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Car valet to pay $145k over wage breaches

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/04/2017

A south Auckland valet company that failed to give workers the minimum wage and holiday pay has been hit with a $145,000 fine.

Manukau Auto Valet had already paid back $96,451 for failing to properly compensate 221 workers between 2010 and 2016.

Now the Employment Relations Authority has handed the company, registered as being owned by Dharmesh and Shareen Kumar since 2002, a $145,000 penalty in a case brought by the Labour Inspectorate.

According to the authority's ruling, 206 of its workers were not paid properly under the Holidays Act when leaving their jobs, while 95 weren't paid the minimum wage, totalling 322 breaches.

Mr Kumar told the authority the failure was due to an misunderstanding of the law, but the authority didn't accept this as an excuse.

"I agree with the Labour Inspector's submissions that this is not a mitigating factor. It is the obligation of all employers to understand and adhere to the law," the ruling said.

Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward says it takes such breaches particularly seriously.

"Not only did the employer breach the rights of the people working for them, they also attempted to gain an unfair advantage over their law abiding competitors."

Staff who worked for the company from for the last six years can called the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to check if they are owed arrears.

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