Directors can be held personally liable for a breach of the Holidays Act

An Otago business and its director must pay $82,500 for record-keeping breaches involving nearly 20 young workers, following a determination by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

New Zealand Mountain Hunting Ltd, that operates a hunting lodge outside of Omarama, has been fined $55,000 and director Gary Herbert has been ordered to personally pay a further $27,500 as the person involved in the breaches.

The Labour Inspectorate investigated the business after a former employee alleged the employer required staff to work an average of 12 hours a day, but only paid a flat rate of $150 per day of work.

The investigation showed the employer did not keep full and accurate wage and time records for 17 employees and did not keep full and accurate holiday and leave records for 19 employees. Their individual employment agreements also did not state the employees’ usual hours of work.

“The requirement to keep accurate and complete records sits at the very heart of an employer’s obligations,” says Labour Inspectorate Regional Manager Jeanie Borsboom.

“Failing to keep accurate records makes it impossible for an employer to show they provided their employees with at least the minimum wage and holiday entitlements and leaves them open to any kind of claim from employees.

“It’s unbelievable that after 25 years in business, the employer took no steps to set up compliant systems”.

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