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Vineyard contractor hit with $73,000 bill

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017
A vineyard in Blenheim © Getty Images A vineyard in Blenheim

A vineyard labour contracting company has been ordered to pay more than $70,000 after failing to pay employees the minimum wage or correct holiday pay.

Marlborough-based business Precise Contracting has been handed a $40,000 penalty by the Employment Relations Authority and ordered to pay $33,000 in arrears to 83 employees that weren't paid properly - and for not keeping proper employment contracts, MBIE says.

The Labour Inspectorate said it had found multiple problematic employment practices, including director Rhonda Burridge regularly altering the timesheets of workers, favouring supervisor records, especially when fewer hours were recorded.

"Altering your employees' timesheets without their consent, as was common practice for Ms Burridge, is not acceptable," Labour Inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan said.

"Just because you find employees leaving your business 'frustrating' does not entitle you to penalise them by withholding their last pay."

He said given the big export stakes in the viticulture industry, it was important for businesses to meet their obligations.

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