Hotel caught out over workers' pay

An Auckland hotel has been ordered to pay nearly $79,000 in back wages to a husband and wife couple.

Abraham and Nancy Agustin won the ruling against Auckland Harbour Oaks Hotel of Gore Street after the Employment Relations Authority found the company had breached the couple's employment contracts.

ERA member Rosemary Monaghan said the evidence "suggests a woeful inadequacy in the payroll management of Auckland Harbour Oaks at the relevant times".

There was no excuse for the employer's failure to pay wages in accordance with the law and to maintain proper records of that payment, she said.

"Auckland Harbour Oaks continue to maintain that their payment regime is correct, but that is difficult to square with the evidence of Mr and Mrs Agustin, and impossible for the authority to verify because the employer has failed to provide actual wage and time records as the law requires," Monaghan said.

Abraham Agustin was owed $38,832.46 net and Nancy Agustin $39,970.60.

The couple had sought an interest payment but Monaghan said that while she was sympathetic to the claim, complications in working it out "make the computation too challenging to contemplate".

She warned however that if the payments to the couple were not made within 10 days, she would consider penalty payments.