Inspector checks farmers' staff records

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 23/05/2014

Relevant offers

Farming

Queen's cow graces national dairy event Funding not enough to cope with freedom campers Farm selling fresh milk straight from the vat going strong three years on New Zealand no threat to Welsh farmers over lamb exports Clarence River farmer restores quake damaged land Finding inspiration in unlikely places Three men in court after thinking they were allowed to shoot sheep on a public road Woolly thinking enters rodeo event Sharing the excitement of science Water: Cutting out the middle cow

A Labour inspector doing random checks on farmers in the south has met resistance.

Progressive Agri HR consultant Melissa Vining said farmers should be aware labour inspector David O'Shea was in the region undertaking checks.

He was ensuring the time records, holiday wages and minimum wages were correct, she said.

She understood the inspector met resistance yesterday.

She urged farm owners not to be obstructive because he had a right to be there.

In April, farmers were told to "lift their game" after Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's labour inspectorate visited 44 farms throughout the country, 31 of which were found to be in breach of minimum employment rights.

Southland inspectors found three out of seven Southland dairy farms had flouted basic employment laws.

This came after visits to Southland last year, when three of the 10 dairy farms visited did not have accurate records of the hours their employees worked.

Earlier this month, Vining highlighted many Southland dairy farmers were unaware of the employment rules. The issue came down to a lack of understanding about seasonal averaging and a failure to keep accurate time and wage records, she said.

Some farmers struggled to understand they could not seasonal average and an employee must receive at least the minimum wage for each hour worked, each day worked, and each week worked.

Benefits such as meat, firewood, wet weather gear or milk could not be used to make up any shortfall in the minium wage, she said. 

Ad Feedback

- The Southland Times

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online