Restau­rant breaches deal on wage ar­rears

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News -

A Ro­torua restau­rant has been fined for breach­ing a deal with a Labour In­spec­tor where they were or­dered to pay more than $28,000.

The agree­ment, made on June 19, 2018, re­quired Vishnu Hos­pi­tal­ity Lim­ited, which trades as Lovely In­dia Restau­rant, to pay ar­rears of min­i­mum wage en­ti­tle­ments to­talling $28,273.32 (gross) in monthly in­stal­ments to the Labour In­spec­tor for the ben­e­fit of Love­lesh Nanda, a for­mer man­ager of VHL’s restau­rant in Ro­torua.

In­stal­ments in win­ter months were to be $1000 and in sum­mer months $2000.

The agree­ment stated in the event of “de­fault of any pay­ment due . . . for seven days, the bal­ance be­comes due and owing”.

Labour In­spec­tor Clare Lyon­sMont­gomery sought orders with the Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Au­thor­ity (ERA) on the grounds that VHL — who had made four pay­ments — paid only a net amount each month and not the gross amount agreed.

The au­thor­ity said it was un­for­tu­nate VHL took a po­si­tion in breach of clear terms of its set­tle­ment agree­ment be­cause it for­feited the ben­e­fit of a very gen­er­ous in­stal­ment pay­ment plan agreed by the In­spec­tor. That plan had al­lowed VHL’s pay­ments to be spread out from Au­gust 1, 2018 to March 2020 without in­cur­ring in­ter­est.

The au­thor­ity said VHL was not in a po­si­tion of au­thor­ity to uni­lat­er­ally de­cide it could im­pose an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of tax leg­is­la­tion on the set­tle­ment agree­ment. VHL was fined $2000 and or­dered to pay the bal­ance due of $24,273.32 within 28 days.

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