New Zealand Company Allegedly Pays Employees in Beer

A New Zealand company has been ordered to reimburse a former employee back wages after he was allegedly partially paid for his work with beer.

A New Zealand company that was allegedly paying their employees in beer is now being ordered to pay a former employee over $12,000.

Kinikinilau Uasike was hired in January 2013 by SN Windows and Doors Ltd in Auckland, according to the Employment Relations Authority's official report.

Uasike claims he was paid under minimum wage and dismissed after six months, when the company handed him $80 and told him there was no more work available.

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Uasike then turned to the Employment Relations Authority, claiming unfair dismissal and back pay.

Rachel Lamer, a authority member, said in her determination that SN Windows and Doors Ltd had not been keeping accurate wage and time records.

Lamer also said the company had occasionally paid the staff with “a few beers.”

“This forms a picture of an employer that is not observing the statutory requirements which apply to all employers in New Zealand,” Lamer said in her report.

SN Windows and Doors Ltd was found to have paid Uasike nearly $5,000 less than minimum wage over the course of his employment.

Uasike’s dismissal was also deemed unjustifiable.

SN Windows and Doors Ltd claims that Uasike was never fired, "he simply failed to turn up at work," according to the report. The company also claims that Uasike was paid correctly for the duration of his employment.

SN Windows and Doors Ltd, which could not be reached for comment, was ultimately ordered to pay Uasike a total of $12,360.25 for lost remuneration, distress compensation, shortfall in wages, unpaid public holidays, unpaid holiday pay, legal costs and filing fees.

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