The Employment Relations Authority has come down hard on second-hand car dealer 2 Cheap Cars for shoddy record keeping and not paying employees the correct wage and holiday entitlements.
The company was given a $70,000 penalty and is estimated to be liable for about $250,000 in arrears, in a judgement released on Thursday.
"There simply is no excuse for employers to not meet their obligations and as this case demonstrates, it can be costly," says Labour Inspectorate regional manager Loua Ward.
After taking a sample of 12 of the 83 workers employed by 2 Cheap Cars, it was found they were owed more than $20,000 worth of entitlements, arrears which have since been paid.
However the systemic nature of the breaches meant almost all employees were affected, Ms Ward said.
2 Cheap Cars were issued with an Improvement Notice in November last year to undertake an audit of their records, which so far has uncovered an estimated arrears of about $250,000.
A second external audit is currently being carried out, and sets out to ensure all current and former workers have received their correct entitlements.
A number of the employees were migrant workers who may not have been aware of all their rights and what they should be paid, Ms Ward said.
2 Cheap Cars will also be placed on a 24-month stand down from recruiting migrant workers as a consequence of the investigation.