Essential HR

Labour Inspector Visits

No, these are not things that happen to the other business owner, and not to me!  Neither are their visits restricted to farms and employers of migrant workers. And while it may still be a while before a very small business gets a visit, the increase in numbers of inspectors, under this Labour government, will shorten that time.

A client of mine recently received one of these visits and was staring down the barrel of having to check leave calculations for all staff (and they employ over 100) over the last 7 years!  They were also up for being branded as having a string of legal breaches which had the risk of challenging insurance cover and maintaining quality certification.

After some constructive discussion with the Labour Inspector we were able to provide more documentation and eventually the only real breach was in respect of the Owner’s son – where detailed hours were not kept for his irregular work and where there was no appropriate agreement in place.

Two lessons for us all:

  1. Make sure that you give the inspector all the paperwork they request or may need (remember that they don’t know your system, so don’t necessarily know what specific documents to request) – that includes timesheets as well as payroll data; position descriptions as well as employment agreements and all variations; and
  2. Make sure that you are recording actual hours at work for all staff (except those on salaries who work usual hours) and that all employees (including casual workers, family members etc) are on the right sort of agreement – and are signed.

Labour Inspectors are there for a reason – to ensure everyone respects the law.  If they find breaches, the impositions can be expensive – timewise and/or in dollars.  If you are contacted for an audit get in touch and we can help you prepare.  And in the meantime make sure you have no gaps in documentation.  Call for advice or for an “internal audit”