2 Cheap Cars to pay more than $320,000 for employment breaches

2 Cheap Cars chief executive Eugene Williams.
CHRIS SKELTON/FAIRFAX NZ

2 Cheap Cars chief executive Eugene Williams.

Used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars will have to pay more than $300,000 for short-changing staff on wages.

An investigation by the Labour Inspectorate found 2 Cheap Cars owed 12 employees about $20,800. They were taken as a sample of the 83 employed by the business.

The systemic nature of the breaches meant almost all employees were affected.

2 Cheap Cars is still under investigation by the Labour Inspectorate.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAX NZ

2 Cheap Cars is still under investigation by the Labour Inspectorate.

Inspector Loua Ward said a number of the employees were migrant workers who may not have been aware of all their rights and entitlements.

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2 Cheap Cars has been placed on a 24-month stand-down from recruiting migrant workers as a consequence of not having complied with employment standards.

It has been ordered to pay $70,000 for a penalty, and is liable for more than $250,000 in breaches of minimum wage, holiday pay, and record- keeping.

All up, the Employment Relations Authority has ordered 2 Cheap Cars to pay more than $320,000.

It was issued with a notice to undertake an audit of their records last year and a second external audit is being carried out to ensure all current and former workers received their correct entitlements. 

Ward said there was no excuse for employers to not meet their obligations.

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The company has also faced controversy in the past for its advertising. Earlier this year the company pulled its advertisement featuring a Japanese car salesman, after it received complaints about perpetuating racist stereotypes.

The "Ah so" advertisement received 27 complaints, topping the Advertising Standards Authority's most offensive commercials for last year.

Recently another investigation by the Labour Inspectorate found two Hamilton car companies failed to pay employees minimum wage and was also in breach of keeping records and employment agreements.

Run by the same person, the companies were fined over $65,000 in penalties. 

 - Stuff

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