Poor Paperwork Produces Pesky Penalty

September 1, 2016

in Employment

iStock_000016394154SmallA labour contractor was recently fined $6,000 for failing to maintain proper employment records.

The contractor had openly accepted all of its failings, and by the time of the Employment Relations Authority Hearing the company had set-up systems to ensure it would comply with the law from then on. The company still got fined.

The failings were discovered by the labour inspector as a part of a regional audit programme.  What this tells you is that it doesn’t take an unhappy employee to get you in trouble.  You may just have an inspector visit and discover any faults on their own.  So it is important to make sure you don’t have any faults to discover.

One of the fundamental failings for the particular company was the lack of employment agreements for any of its staff.  They were all casual, and it is easy to see how someone might skip an employment agreement for a worker who may only do a one-off shift.  An employer must have an employment agreement for every employee without exception and regardless of how casual their employment may be, and must retain a copy of the employment agreement.  We can help you prepare employment agreements that fulfil your obligations and are tailored to your business needs.

The other failings were a failure to keep individual time and wage records, and a failure to keep holiday and leave records.

The point of all of the fundamental obligations which the company had failed to meet, is to ensure there is information from which an employee or a Labour Inspector can establish that an employee is receiving their minimum entitlements.  Without this information employees may be being treated entirely fairly, but there is no way to show it.

So if you’re an employer and you think it might be time to check that you’re meeting your obligations at law, we’re available and happy to help.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Wallace Revell
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. 

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