Petrol station staff owed $14,500 in wages
A Northland petrol station is to pay $28,500 for committing serious breaches of employment law, after a Labour Inspectorate Investigation.
It found that IXL Petroleum and Gas Limited, trading as a G.A.S station franchise on State Highway One in Ruakaka, breached its obligation to pay at least the minimum wage, correct holiday pay, and to have made unlawful deductions.
"Every person employed in New Zealand must be provided with their minimum employment entitlements – anything less is unacceptable," said Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward.
The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) issued a $14,000 penalty to IXL Petroleum and Gas Limited, on top of the $14,500 in arrears which have been paid to four employees.
"One staff member regularly had their wages deducted – with the employer paying them for 20 hours per week, despite their own records showing the employee worked significantly longer hours.
"Another employee reported being charged for customer drive-offs and the employer seeking a premium in exchange for supporting their visa – both of which are illegal in New Zealand."
Other franchisors should take note and where necessary provide support to ensure their franchisee were meeting minimum employment standards, Ward said.
"Not only do these cases mean penalties, if consumers don't believe you pay your employees appropriately it can damage the brand as a whole."
Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tony Collins said businesses had access to help to meet their obligations through paychecknz.co.nz, a service set up by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.
"The Chamber strongly supports business success and better business through business excellence.
"Obviously practice such as this doesn't demonstrate those qualities. A fundamental part of business excellence is compliance with the regulatory framework in which a business operates and ensuring that the workforce is properly valued for the contribution they make to a business's success."