Seeking help with a labour inspection on your farm?
We can help.
Labour inspectors are cracking down on farms nationwide. If you have been notified of a compliance complaint and need assistance, our team can assist at this critical point of the process before any decisions are made.
How does a Labour Inspection affect my farm?
Labour Inspectors regularly audit a company’s payroll and employment documents to assess legislative compliance and often will do it with no warning.
If your operations are found to be non-compliant, by accident or otherwise, you will be directed to take immediate corrective action, and in some scenarios, you could be hit by penalties by the Employment Relations Authority.
However, they don’t always get it right.
Evidence confirms that Labour Inspectors themselves can often get their assessment wrong and deliver verdicts that are incorrect. They’re only human, but it can be costly for your farm’s operations. For that reason, we are able to support you through such compliance audit processes to ensure that you are not required to pay penalties unnecessarily.
It’s crucial to contact us as soon as possible, ideally as soon as you have been contacted by a labour inspector with a notice of non-compliance.
We can only assist before a final decision is made.
What are Labour Inspections, and what are they for?
The Labour Inspectorate is a division of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). One of their main jobs is to investigate complaints of non-payment to employees of wages or leave entitlements. They can also audit a company’s wage, time and employment documents to ensure they are legally compliant.
Audits by MBIE may also be undertaken on a ‘random’ basis without any complaints being received or as part of a particular ‘farm industry sting’ – where several farms will be targeted at once.
This means that at any time, you could be subject to a Labour Inspection Audit.
What do you need to provide during an audit?
Such processes involve an employer providing full wage, time and employment records for all employees (current and previous) on your farm for the full previous six-year period.
What happens if there is a breach found in your operations?
Where non-compliance is identified, breaches may take several forms, including:
Who is looking after your payroll?
You may be using an electronic payroll system or even be outsourcing your payroll for your permanent staff and/or contractors on the farm. If this is the case, previous audit evidence has shown that even professional payroll companies might not be processing pay correctly with all current, relevant legislative requirements.
You might not even find out until this audit that your payroll is being mishandled, and you will be liable for their mistakes.
How we can help you.
From proactively avoiding breaches to challenging punitive decisions – we are here to make the entire process stress free.
As specialists in interpreting and applying the Holidays Act 2003 and in drafting all forms of employment-related documentation, our team of experts have assisted many employers when being audited by MBIE. We have helped to successfully challenge Labour Inspector assessments, significantly reduce payments and avoid potential penalties.
If you find your farm or facility subject to a Labour Inspector compliance audit or an employee wage/leave entitlement claim, please contact us for professional support in managing the response process.