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Wine industry warned over employment fails

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/08/2016

Just one of 10 Marlborough vineyard contractors has come through snap employment inspections with a clean sheet, prompting a warning for the wine industry's reputation.

Labour, immigration and Inland Revenue investigators have audited the 10 contractors, and found two - Double Seven Services and Vinestrength - were breaching minimum wage, holiday pay, and record keeping requirements.

Another seven were asked to supply additional records.

"With only one contractor found to be compliant, it shows the industry needs to start taking action to ensure the contractors they're using are meeting employment standards," said the Ministry of Business, Employment & Employment's Kevin Finnegan.

Minimum employment standards were basic employer requirements.

"It's simply unacceptable to fail to pay minimum wage, holiday pay, or keep up to date records of employees."

By using contractors who ignored employment standards, the New Zealand wine industry was exposing itself to reputational damage, he said.

"We want the industry to take some ownership of the issue and show they are taking it seriously. This includes seeking assurances from their contractors that all minimum employment standards are being met.

Nine contractors from the Regional Seasonal Employee scheme - which employs workers from the Pacific Islands - were also visited and all found to be compliant.

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