I hate scumbag employers that let the side down

Andrew Little and his union mates use cases like this to justify rules, actions and new laws against 99.9% of the business world because of scumbags like this.

A Christchurch construction company breached labour laws by failing to pay the minimum wage and keep employment records for workers, the Employment Relations Authority found.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate investigated Verney Construction Limited last year after receiving a complaint from two employees involved in the Christchurch rebuild.

The investigation found that the workers had been treated as contractors, when in fact they were employees.

They had not received the minimum wage or their final holiday pay and were not provided with employment agreements.

The Labour Inspectorate brought the case before the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after the employer failed to provide employment agreements, time, wage and holiday records despite multiple requests and the issuing of an Improvement Notice.

The member of the authority Helen Doyle found that the employees should be paid the sum of the minimum wage and holiday pay arrears calculated by the Inspector of $309.60 and $584.59 and interest.

The ERA also issued Verney Construction with a penalty of $2,000 for breaching orders of compliance.

Due to the size of the penalty, it suggests stupidity instead of malice (or at least I hope so), but why couldn’t this have been sorted out by the employer when challenged on the mistakes.

You pay people what you agreed to pay them.  End of.  There is no wiggle room.

I’d say “avoid dealing with Verney Construction Limited”, but I guess that’s just going to put the poor employees out of work.   So, I’ll say “don’t work for Verney Construction Limited”.   We don’t need that sort of scum giving Andrew Little ammunition for his “employers are parasites” claim.

Who pays minimum wage in construction anyway?   Have some pride people, find somewhere else to work.


– NZ Herald


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Stuarts.burgers

    I have heard comment from “Tradie Employers” just make them contractors to you then you do not need to worry about PAYE, Kiwisaver,Holiday Pay, etc, this seems to be the case here. Only problem with that is the need to show that they are true contractors and not employees, GST would most likely come into play as well.
    Running you own business is not all beer and skittles and one needs to keep on top of the paper work especial around employees/contractors.

    • Wallace Westland

      Yeah but in this case he wasn’t even paying the min wage which if I remember right is still $13.50?
      If you were even trying to do a dodgy contractor payment deal you’d still pay more than that.
      I wonder where his two employees were from?I can’t believe a NZ born person with even the most basic idea of how to swing a hammer would settle for less than $13.50. My guess is this scumbag is trying to take advantage of migrant workers.
      But it’s only a guess.

      • Stuarts.burgers

        The way I read in the Press he would come up with some money every now and then.
        Told the lads they were on say $25 an hour, they earned $1k a week he only fronted with $500 and would say will get back to you with the rest when I have worked it out.

        • Wallace Westland

          Ahhh. yes that makes sense. Another muppet sailing to close to the wind all the time and probably using progress payments to fund out of control supplier debt instead of paying wages.
          A bit here a bit there trying to keep the wolf from the door.

          • HSV325

            More like paying the lease on the HSV Maloo ute and fuelling the Bayliner boat

      • Betty Swallocks

        Think “Philippines” and you won’t be too far wide of the mark.

        • Stuarts.burgers

          Yea do not get me going about ” Employment Agencies in the Philippines” and their ‘fees”. I am pleased the the government has acted upon and got an agreement with the Philippines Govt that “The Wage Protection Act” applies in the Philippines in regards to workers being recruited for NZ. ie Recruitment Agency can not charge fees to employee it is the employer that pays.

  • Dave

    Whilst not good news, fear not, 99.9% of employers do the right thing by their employers and clients, 99.9% of the time. If one wants to look for rule breakers, cast an eye over little Angry Andy’s last mottly gaggle of Unions, and see how many have filed returns, declared financials, answered queries, or even have all employees on contracts, and paid correctly. That little gem is sufficient to keep Angry Andy at bay.

    PS: Something is not right with the story….. Minimum wage in Christchurch, we couldn’t get workers let alone minimum wage from the quakes until i left in 2012

    • Sally

      Only need to look at the dodgy IRD dealings by Little’s chief of staff to shut him up.

  • James M

    I can only laugh if Little used this case as political ammunition. At no point did the current laws let these people down. It’s just a ratbag employer who didn’t abide by the law.

    Plus at the end of the day the law prevailed, job done.

  • caochladh

    Just another feral with a hundred dollar company. There is a simple master/servant relationship test that quantifies the employers position. What I would like to know is where are the IRD who can unleash more severe penalties for this nonsense.

    • Disinfectant

      That might come and the Directors will be liable to prosecution.

  • Stuarts.burgers

    It would seem that the company is in the process of being struck of as it has ceased trading.
    Was also slow in providing Annual Return to the Companies Office

  • corporate refugee

    I’ve been an employee and an employer in my time. Based on my observations employees abuse the employment relationship far more regularly than employers do.

  • Clutch Cargo

    There is zero excuse for being A) unemployed in ChCh and B) working for crap employers paying crap wages in ChCh. Good workers are valued and are paid accordingly. Employers strive to keep good people on and are prepared to pay a premium to keep them. There are a lot of young people getting a very good start here. I hope our cloth cap communists keep well out of this.