Labour Dept hunts elusive boss

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The owner of a cleaning company that allegedly short-paid Queens­town workers appears to have done a runner.

The Department of Labour is still trying to track down Wellington-based Greg Thomas, whose com­­­pany Broadbat Ltd allegedly owes $40,000 to 56 past and present employees nationwide.

Broadbat, trading as Southern Cleaning Services, has been subject to a Government probe after Mountain Scene revealed last June that local Brazilian workers weren’t being paid holiday pay.

Broadbat also allegedly failed to forward staff PAYE, child support and student loan deductions to Inland Revenue.

Local ex-SCS workers are still out of pocket.

Broadbat failed to show up at Wellington District Court last September and a DoL order to pay outstanding holiday pay and penalties issued on November 24 wasn’t paid either, a DoL spokesman says.

“Resolving this case has taken longer than expected, primarily due to a lack of cooperation from SCS, Broadbat and director Greg Thomas.”

SCS has cleared out of its Well­ing­ton premises and a DoL inspector has unsuccessfully tried to serve documents on Thomas at home, he says.

“The department is now considering options for further action.”

Meanwhile, Queenstown Cleaners boss Paul Shaw says he finally managed to get an abandoned SCS vehicle to be towed from Cameron Place last week – it had been near his office for the last nine months.

“The reason it took so long to get towed was because they couldn’t get hold of anyone.”

Shaw says he’s also owed a “substantial” amount of money for jobs his company did for SCS – but has “given up” chasing it.

Former SCS employee Daniella Bastos, from Queenstown, says she hasn’t heard anything about getting her money back. “It makes me so sad,” she says.