The Burger King Ban and the Importance of Employment Law Compliance

All employers are required by law to comply with minimum employment standards. When an employer fails to meet these standards they risk being placed on a publically available stand down list maintained by the Labour Inspectorate.

The stand down list includes employers who have been subject to penalties for breaches of the minimum standards. Once placed on the list the employer is prevented from supporting visa applications for prospective migrant employees for between 6 – 24 months (depending on the type of breach which has occurred). This can have a real impact on employers who are reliant on hiring visa holders.

Recently Burger King New Zealand was placed on the stand down list by breaching minimum wage requirements. The breach occurred when one of Burger King’s salaried employees worked so many hours that their hourly rate dropped below the minimum wage.

This is a timely reminder that no matter the size, all employers must be compliant with their employment obligations.

We suggest that employers conduct regular reviews of their employment agreements, policies, and procedures to ensure that they are up to date and compliant. In addition to reducing the risk of being placed on the stand down list, regular compliance check-ups also reduce the risk of personal grievances and other claims which can result in losses of time, money and reputation to a business.

There have been a number of changes to employment law recently such as new rules regarding availability of employees to work (“availability provisions”) and cancellation of rosters which can easily catch employers out. There are also a number of changes in the pipeline as the new Government looks to make amendments to 90 day trial periods, the liability of employees who use employment hire companies and a number of other areas.

If you would like a review of your employment agreements, policies or the employment procedures you currently have in place, we are happy to discuss these with you and help you to be fully compliant with your obligations.

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If you have any queries in respect of minimum employment standards, or any other employment law issues, please contact our Employment Law Team.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

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