With more than 700,000 Kiwis potentially underpaid to the tune of over $2b the Government has to come up with a proper solution to pay the one in three working New Zealanders short-changed by the holiday payroll disaster, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark.
“The Government tinkered with the law in 2009 but they made the issue worse. Since then they have done nothing but sit on their hands and watch the problem grow.
“The effect of Government inaction is that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders have been underpaid every year. The Government estimates most affected would have been underpaid by $250 to $500 a year. Legally, working people can claim back six years of underpayments.
“That means hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are due a few thousand dollars.
“The Government will try to blame employers but ultimately they must take responsibility because they are in charge of guiding business and enforcing the law.
“Before the Government attributes blame they should take a look at themselves because MBIE – the ministry in charge of enforcing the law – has itself underpaid its employees.
“Now the full extent is clear, Steven Joyce needs to put his so-called Mr Fixit hat on and deal with this. We need a clear plan to get that money back into the pockets of those who earned it,” says David Clark.