Underpaid car mechanic awarded $63,000 by Employment Relations Authority

A mechanic who went months without pay because his boss failed to keep correct wage records has been awarded $63,000 by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

HR Matters Tip:

Always keep accurate records of wages paid, time employees work and share rosters with employees at least 7 days in advance.

Amit Sharan began working at Reborn Holding from May 2016 after experiencing employment troubles at his previous job.

Sharan worked under Reborn's director Kevin Robert Anderson, who sometimes asked him to work on vehicles without any proper equipment and without a workshop, according to the ERA decision.

Sharan had a work visa having arrived from Fiji in September 2014.

After working for Anderson for eight months, Sharan resigned in January 2017 because he was not being paid correctly.

While Sharan claimed he was forced to work 70 hours a week, Anderson disputed these allegations, maintaining that Sharan's hours were more like 20 to 30 hours a week. 

The ERA investigation found that proper employment records were not maintained, but based on witness accounts and the employment agreement, concluded Sharan worked about 40 hours a week. 

Sharan told the ERA he felt he was being driven out of the employment because he was not being properly paid. 

Despite that, in March 2017, a few months after his resignation, Sharan started working for Anderson again. 

But as soon as Sharan's work permit expired on September 8, 2017, he resigned and got a permanent residency, which meant he was no longer tied to one employer. 

Anderson claimed Sharan was a contractor but the ERA found he was an employee both times he worked for Reborn Holdings.

The ERA found Reborn Holdings failed to keep correct wage and time records and ordered it pay a $30,000 penalty for its breaches of the Employment Relations Act, the Wages Protection Act and the Minimum Wage Act.

The penalty was to be paid to Sharan, as well as $33,944 in unpaid wages for the two periods of employment at Reborn Holdings.

- Full Article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/110643776/underpaid-car-mechanic-awarded-63000-by-employment-relations-authority?cid=app-iPhone

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