Cleaning firm's director elusive

The Labour Department has still not managed to serve papers on the managing director of Southern Cleaning Services, Wellington-based Greg Thomas.

The department's Workplace Services group manager, Maarten Quivooy, told the Otago Daily Times in an email this week that the company, and its parent company Broadbat Ltd, owed money to 56 individuals - mostly employees.

Mr Thomas bought the Dunedin-based cleaning company in 2006 when it had 175 employees.

Mr Quivooy said the cleaning company had vacated its Wellington premises, and a Wellington-based inspector has visited Mr Thomas' home but had not found him.

An October 22 hearing of the Employment Relations Authority, in Christchurch, ordered Broadbat to pay the wages and holiday pay it owed and ordered it to pay penalties of $500 in respect of each of six employees for breaches of the Holidays Act and the Employment Relations Act.

The company was also ordered to provide the department with employment agreements, wages, time records and holiday records for other staff.

As well, it was ordered to pay a penalty of $10,000 for the breaches of the Acts.

The department's legal division wrote to Broadbat on November 24 giving it 10 days to comply with the orders or "face further enforcement action".

There was no reply.

Mr Quivooy said the department was seeking to serve papers on the two companies for failing to comply with the orders of the authority.

"The department's efforts to resolve complaints against Southern Cleaning Services and Broadbat Ltd have involved a long, time-consuming process.

"Nevertheless, the department remains determined to pursue the matter, using all the powers at its disposal."

In an earlier email, the department said that resolving the case had taken longer than expected, "primarily due to a lack of co-operation" from the companies and Mr Thomas.

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