A tour company based in the South Island will pay more than $100,000 after a Labour Inspectorate investigation found employees were working long hours for a daily rate less than the minimum wage with no holiday pay.
Alps Travel – a company primarily aimed at tourists from China – has been ordered to pay $75,000 in penalties and more than $35,000 in arrears for the employment breaches, according to the inspectorate.
“This employer also failed to keep accurate time, wage, holiday or leave records, and made unlawful deductions from their employees to discipline them for things like bus damage or negative customer feedback,” says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Jeanie Borsboom.
“This is all completely unacceptable under New Zealand employment law,” she said.
Alps Travel initially sought to avoid providing minimum standards by saying their workers were contractors, but went on to acknowledge during the investigation that this was not the case.
Alps Travel has had its transport service licence for both passenger and rental services revoked by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The general manager of Alps Travel’s Queenstown branch was recently found guilty of fraud in relation to aiding and abetting an Alps driver to dishonestly use another driver’s licence in an attempt to show that he was correctly licensed, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.