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Firm pinged for paying worker in beer

JESS MCALLEN
Last updated 12:30 30/06/2014

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A window company that paid its staff "a few beers" instead of wages for working on Saturdays must pay a former worker more than $12,000 for unjustified dismissal.

Kinikinilau Uasike took SN Windows and Doors Ltd to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after he said he was dismissed by being given an envelope with $80 in it and told not to come back as there was no work for him.

SN Windows denied dismissing Uasike and said he simply failed to turn up at work.

Uasike told the ERA he was paid less than the minimum wage for the hours he worked, he was not paid for six statutory holidays, and was not paid any holiday pay on termination.

SN Windows said it paid Uasike correctly and did not pay any holiday pay because his employment had not ended.

The Authority's investigation found that instead of paying employees who worked Saturdays their normal wages, as required by law, the company only gave them "a few beers".

Ruling in favour of Uasike, authority member Rachel Larmer said: "It is obvious that SN Windows has not complied with its legal obligations to keep accurate wage and time records or holiday and leave records.

"This forms a picture of an employer that is not observing the statutory requirements which apply to all employers in New Zealand."

The ruling ordered the company to pay Uasike $2200 lost remuneration, $2000 distress compensation, $4698.12 shortfall in wages, $660 unpaid public holidays, $980.57 unpaid holiday pay, $1750 towards his legal cost, $71.56 to reimburse his filing fee.

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