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The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered Grocery King to pay $44,750 in penalties for the employment breaches and attempted deception, and its director, Quing (Jade) Luo, to personally pay another $8960 in penalties.
The labour inspectorate visited the convenience store in November 2017, as part of an operation to check compliance with employment standards in retail and hospitality businesses in Dunedin.
It found several breaches relating to four Grocery King employees, including issues with record-keeping and holiday payments.
Although Grocery King gave assurance it only ever employed four people, further investigation by the labour inspectorate confirmed the existence of four additional employees, it said yesterday.
''The employer claimed these were just people who 'helped out'. It kept no employment agreements or records for these workers.''
Labour inspectorate regional manager Jeanie Borsboom said the inspectorate occasionally encountered people working informally at businesses, but any work by employees for gain or reward must be properly documented under New Zealand legislation.
''Even if the work is casual or short-term, employers must keep written employment agreements, records of hours, wages and leave, and provide at least the minimum wage and minimum holiday pay entitlements.''
The labour inspectorate lodged the case with the ERA after the business failed to respond to an improvement notice.
The eight people working for Grocery King included both New Zealand citizens and migrants.
All arrears of about $1800 had been repaid.