18 November, 2014 – NZCity News

A milk distribution company in Christchurch has been fined for charging a migrant worker fees for her job after they helped her get a work visa.

A Christchurch milk distribution company has been fined $5000 for illegally charging a migrant worker a fee for her job after they helped her get a work visa with a false employment contract.

In a decision released on Tuesday, the Employment Relations Authority found John and Joy Bowden employed Savita Saharan in 2013 to deliver milk but had unlawfully underpaid her.

The employment agreement submitted to Immigration NZ for Ms Saharan’s work visa stated she was to work 35 hours a week at $20 per hour.

However, the ERA said it appeared this contract was drafted to mislead immigration authorities into giving the woman a visa.

Once in New Zealand Ms Saharan paid the Bowdens $8260 in monthly instalments, along with an additional $284.45 a week to cover the tax on her wages.

In August the company terminated the woman’s employment.

An inspector from the Department of Labour investigated and found Ms Saharan should have been paid $13,380 for the 669 hours she worked.

Instead, after taking into account Inland Revenue deductions, the woman took home only $2924.59, or $4.37 per hour.



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