Inspections A Reminder to Check Compliance

Inspections A Reminder to Check Compliance

 “Hi Dad,” said Pebbles as she walked through the front door.  “I was just passing by and wanted to drop off these muffins I have baked”. 

“Thanks Pebbles,” said Freddy.  “Have you got a minute?  I wanted to ask you about something.”

“I’ve always got a minute for you Dad, what is it?” asked Pebbles. 

“Do you remember mentioning about the farm visits that the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment’s labour inspectors were carrying out?” asked Freddy. 

“Yes I do Dad - the one where MBIE announced that labour inspectors would be carrying out inspections of farms to ensure compliance with labour and immigration rules.” 

“Yes that’s right Pebbles,” said Freddy.  “Well, I have recently been visited by the labour inspector, and I am pleased to say that I was given a clean audit for compliance.  Thanks for your help that you gave me with my employment agreements and record keeping of time and wage records.”

“That’s great news,” said Pebbles.  “Having accurate time and wage records is really important.   Without them farmers cannot demonstrate to their workers or the labour inspector that they are meeting their obligations for minimum wage and holiday payments.   

“It is also important to remember that there are financial penalties for not complying with employment laws of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies” continued Pebbles.  “And another thing Dad,”

 “What’s that?” interrupted Freddy. 

“I read that inspectors are also checking farms for compliance with immigration laws as well to ensure that there is no exploitation of foreign farm workers” said Pebbles. 

“I would never do that,” said Freddy.  “I always pay my workers well above the minimum wage.”

“Yes I know, but there are some people out there that are not as compliant as you.  Although, I did read that MBIE reported no exploitative conduct was found during their recent farm visits,” said Pebbles.  “That’s good news but also a timely reminder to remember to check that all foreign workers have a legal entitlement to work in New Zealand.”

“How do I do that?” asked Freddy. 

“The easiest way is to ask the worker before you employ them to show you proof of their entitlement to work in New Zealand, for example, by showing you their passport and visa that allows them to work for you.  If you are unsure about a potential employee’s entitlement to work for you, you can also contact Immigration New Zealand to seek further confirmation,” explained Pebbles. 

“Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind,” said Freddy.  “Now, let’s not let these muffins get cold”.   

The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document. 

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser. 

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Philip McCarthy