Queenstown restaurant fined


A Japanese restaurant in Queenstown has been fined $6000 by the government for not keeping employment records.

Hikari restaurant in Beach St, operated by Yong’s Food Company Ltd, was ordered to pay the money after a Business Ministry audit found it had not kept completed time, holiday and leave records which are required by law.

The Employment Relations Authority said in its decision the restaurant employed workers who are often migrants or on working holiday visas, undertaking short term engagements.

“There is a very high turnover of the employees as a consequence.”

A visit by officials in July 2014 disclosed “a failure by Yong’s to keep wage, time, holiday and leave records which prevented the inspector from discerning if minimum standards had been met, but, on the evidence available, it seemed likely there had been breaches of minimum standards”.

In an email to the Otago Daily Times, the owner says: “We are disappointed about the decision but accept we failed to comply with record keeping requirements to the legal standard.”

The ERA states the employer argued he was not aware of the legal requirements due to English not being his first language.

But Labour Inspectorate southern regional manager Stuart Lumsden says ignorance of the law was not an excuse.

Otago Daily Times