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Grocer hit with $12k bill over employee

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/04/2017

south Auckland grocer who tried to charge a migrant worker $20,000 to support his visa has been hit with a $12,000 penalty. © Dennis Owen / Reuters south Auckland grocer who tried to charge a migrant worker $20,000 to support his visa has been hit with a $12,000 penalty. A south Auckland grocer who tried to charge an immigrant worker $20,000 to work for him has himself been fined $12,000.

The Employment Relations Authority says Amardeep Singh and his Drury company Raw N Fresh must pay the $12,000 penalty after employing migrant Firoj Khan last year.

According to the ERA decision, Mr Singh twice sought a payment from Mr Khan, once for $20,000 and another time for $18,000 to support his visa.

Mr Khan instead quit and complained to authorities.

ERA member Anna Fitzgibbon says the breach was serious as Mr Khan was a vulnerable worker.

Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward says it can be difficult for workers to raise concerns about their employment.

"The Labour Inspectorate takes these matters very seriously and is part of an all-of-government approach to combatting migrant exploitation in its various forms."

Half of the $12,000 penalty will go to Mr Khan.

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