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Sushi bars to pay $71k in unpaid wages

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/05/2016

Workers at a collection of Whangarei sushi bars have received more than $70,000 in unpaid wages following an investigation into the stores.

Eight sushi bars were found to be non-compliant with employment and tax laws, and didn't provide 54 current and former staff - some migrant workers - their public holiday and holiday pay entitlements.

They also didn't pay minimum wages and failed to keep time and wage records.

Two businesses were ordered to pay more than $25,000 each in arrears.

"The exploitation of migrant workers - such as paying less than the minimum wage - is not acceptable, and breaches New Zealand law," Labour Inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan said.

"MBIE takes these breaches very seriously and is working proactively to crack down on it through joint compliance operations targeting sectors and at risk workers across New Zealand."

One store has been closed since the investigation began, six have been served improvement notices and another has been referred to the Employment Relations Authority for penalties.

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