Businessman faces $200,000 bill in back wages

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The Employment Relations Authority has ruled Auckland man Ala’a Bader must pay a total of $211,574.33 in wage repayments and penalties for breaches of employment law.

Bader was found to not be paying employees at three convenience and liquor stores he is the sole director and owner of their minimum wage or holiday employment entitlements.

He also failed to provide employment agreements and accurate time and wage records were not kept.

The case came to the attention of the ERA after the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment received a complaint from 11 employees in July 2012.

The complainants were in New Zealand from India on student visas and reported being underpaid.

An inspectorate from the ministry investigated and demanded the employer make correct wage payments but when he failed to respond the claim was brought to the ERA.

The Authority determined $60,000 is to be paid as a penalty for breaching the Minimum Wage Act 1983 and Holidays Act 2003; $55,000 is to be paid for breaches of the Employment Relations Act 2000 by not providing employment agreements; and $96,574.33 is to be repaid as minimum wages and holiday pay.

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