Worker exploitation condemned

19 Dec 2016

BusinessNZ has endorsed the sentence handed down today to the first person convicted of human trafficking in New Zealand.

In the Auckland High Court today Faroz Ali received a nine-year jail sentence for underpaying and mistreating Fijian workers who had been lured to New Zealand with false promises of high wages and working visas.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the sentence is appropriate and sends a message that worker exploitation is not condoned in New Zealand.

"Deceiving and coercing employees for the purposes of exploitation is a serious crime. Today's sentence sends a signal that this behaviour is not tolerated in our workplaces," Mr Hope said.

"Exploitative employment practices not only abuse workers but also disadvantage hard working firms doing the right thing and treating their employees properly. Immigration New Zealand's investigation of this case has been appropriate and welcome."

BusinessNZ recently headed an International Labour Organisation undertaking which produced international guidelines for fair recruitment, aimed at combatting fraudulent and abusive recruitment practices leading to exploitation of workers.

The guidelines require understandable terms and conditions being specified in employment agreements, voluntary agreement by employees, no confiscation of employees' identity documents or employment contracts, and a requirement for access to grievance and dispute resolution mechanisms.