A car wash in Auckland, New Zealand will owe $145,000 after it was found they failed to pay more than 200 workers their minimum wage and holiday pay owed. BusinessDay reports that the car wash, Manukau Auto Valet, failed to pay nearly $100,000 owed to 221 employees from the year 2010 to the year 2016. This comes after two investigations into the business.
The first investigation was the result of a complaint filed with a labor inspector with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment in 2015. The original complaint alleged that about 115 employees were not fairly compensated during a one-year period between 2014 and 2015.
That first complaint led to a larger investigation in which the labor inspector looked at previous years of pay. What the Ministry found was much more staggering. An additional 106 employees had not been paid during prior years. Overall, Manukau Auto Valet was charged for 322 breaches. The breakdown shows that 206 employees were not given their holiday pay while 95 never even made minimum wage.
“It deprives the employees of income on an ongoing basis and allows the employer to profit from its own breach,” said Vicki Campbell, a member of the Employment Relations Authority.
The car wash said in a statement that it was a complete mistake on their part not to pay the employees what they were owed, calling it a “misunderstanding of the statutory requirements and mistakes in applying them.”