A construction company has been fined for violating employment standards.
A construction company has been ordered to pay a former employee and the Crown more than $125,000 for violating minimum employment standards.
Huiyun Ling has been employed as a safety manager at SDCIC NZ Construction since its founding in 2018.
Ling launched an investigation into the Office of Labor Relations after he was not paid wages or paid time off, and alleged that the company had breached its duty of good faith.
In 2018, SDCIC had a contract for the implementation of an investment involving construction works on the premises of a hotel in Auckland. Four Chinese directors, a 10-person management team, including four directors, and approximately 40 construction workers were deployed to manage the project.
In February 2020, construction work was suspended and SDCIC was ordered to vacate the hotel premises. Ling said the company’s acting director, called Yin, also left New Zealand due to a visa problem.
Following the sale of the company’s assets, Hua Wu became sole director in March 2020. He applied for Covid-19 wage subsidies. Ling said he received two grant payments totaling $3,920.
After June 2020, Ling did not receive salary or other payments from SDCIC. In February 2021, he started working as a self-employed accountant.
Lings’ employment contract stated that his employment was for a fixed period and would expire on the day the hotel project was completed. The hotel project came to an end in February 2020, but he was still employed to help the company sell vehicles to SDCIC in order to raise funds to pay remaining employees.
How the Labor Relations Authority works. (Video first published June 2021)
However, after June 2020, Ling received no remuneration and was not provided with ongoing employment by SDCIC.
Wu did not respond to his inquiries about salary payments.
Body member Eleanor Robinson found that Ling had not received any notice entitlement as a result of the termination of his employment with SDCIC and was in arrears of salary from SDCIC for the period January to August 2020.
During his employment, he did not take annual leave, so he was entitled to the leave. He also did not receive four weeks’ notice of the termination of his employment.
It was also found that SDCIC did not maintain records of working time and wages.
Robinson ordered SDCIC and/or Wu to pay $6,923.07 for unpaid notice, $56,080 in unpaid wages, $15,200 for unpaid annual leave, and $40,000 to the Crown for failure to submit wages and time records, with $4,000 to be paid to Ling.
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