Worker awarded $30,000 in dispute over hours

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 12:53 20/01/2014

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A Porirua curry house worker was awarded more than $30,000 in lost and unpaid wages.

Kulbir Kaur, an assistant restaurant manager at Curry Planet, received no wages for 11 weeks, the Employment Relations Authority found.

The authority heard she was worked at least 55 hours a week, but was being paid for only 30.

Ms Kaur was also not paid time-and-a-half for working statutory holidays.

Curry Planet owner Ajit Singh claimed a diary with details of the hours of work and applications for annual leave was stolen from his office.

He denied that Ms Kaur was underpaid.

Kaur, who was on a work and student visa, also said she was made to pay her employer, Ajit Singh, more than $16,000 during her employment.

Mr Singh denied the claim.

He criticised Kaur's performance at work, but Employment Relations Authority member Paul Stapp said that was not relevant to the issue of lost wages.

Mr Singh accused Ms Kaur of not telling the truth, while she stuck to her claim that she was underpaid.

The authority accepted Kaur's claims about the hours she worked.

It said her evidence was more reliable than Singh's. Bank statements showed no money was paid  Ms Kaur for a period of 11 weeks.

Mr Singh eventually produced a wage and holiday book, but it contained no start and finish times and was deemed unreliable for work.

Singh was ordered to pay $4570 for the unpaid weeks, $21,137 in unpaid hours, $4736 for holiday pay, and $3500 in costs.

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- The Dominion Post

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