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4 May 2023

Ethan Griffiths, NZ Herald

New Zealand: Employment Relations Authority orders construction co. L2M to pay NZ$60k outstanding wages to Chinese workers

See all tags Allegations

"Building company L2M Construction ordered to pay migrant carpenters more than $60k,"

A small building company has been ordered to pay two migrant workers more than $60,000 after underpaying them and withholding wages during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Jianghua and Jinchun Chen had travelled to New Zealand from China specifically to work for Auckland’s L2M Construction Limited...

The pair lived in accommodation provided by the company, which initially they were not required to pay rent for. They told the tribunal the property was in poor condition and other workers slept in the living room...

Initially, the pair were paid less than the $25 an hour wage they had agreed. When the first Covid-19 lockdown came along, the pair did not work and were not paid.

Returning to work as carpenters post-lockdown, the pair worked 45 hours a week but were only being paid for 40...

[The Employment Relations Authority] also ordered reimbursement of just over $4000 for both men in other unpaid wages, around $2500 each in public holiday pay, and around $5000 each in annual holiday pay...

The company was fined $15,000 - $3000 of which was to be paid to both men. The men also received $10,000 each in compensation for hurt and humiliation...