Why is MBIE and the government allowing Restaurant Brands to cheat workers of their annual leave?


Unite Union is asking for Restaurant Brands to pay annual leave entitlements back further than they have agreed to do with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise.

Unite first wrote to Restaurant Brands asking them to take action on this in February 2015, over four years ago.

At the very least, the company should have gone back six years from that date even if the six-year limit that MBIE is allowing companies to limit their remediation payments to is accepted as legal.

Instead, they are only going back to May 2012, over three years worth of remediation less than they should be forced to.

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Even if their records before that date are more difficult to access or process they could do an estimation of losses for workers based on the records they do have,

Other companies have paid staff back for the 15 years back to the holidays Act law change in 2003 that seems to have created the incentive for companies to simply ignore what was required by law which has led to massive underpayments for workers.

These companies have accepted a moral responsibility to go back further.

Why can’t Restaurant Brands do the same?

The government needs to take over the remediation process from MBIE and ensure all workers are paid what they are owed, not just a limited payment from a few companies that have been audited.



  1. Why can’t they do the same?

    Because they don’t want to, and they’re reasonably confident nobody is going to make them. Iain Lees-Galloway should make it blisteringly clear to companies like Restaurant Brands that if they don’t toe the line, they will be nailed to the wall.

    Actually, if you’re not going to abide by the law or pay your staff fairly, why don’t you collectively fuck off out of New Zealand completely? God knows it’d help the nation’s steadily climbing obesity rates.


      (Also NZ can’t afford to pay for health care anymore (dropping levels spent per person) in part because the government on behalf of taxpayers forced to top up these minimum waged employers salaries with WFF, accomodation benefit and other welfare to help them so the poor (sarcasm) executives don’t have to worry about any pay rises (in fact find it difficult just to pay minimum wages and the government only too happy to grant them visas to get overseas people in on lower wages or in the case of Burger King, paying residents lower wages while paying migrants the correct wages.


  2. Sounds obvious but ripping off people seems to be the norm in NZ now.

    Big companies get away with everything and those smaller companies have the book thrown at them in employment disputes and work safe investigations, because they are easy targets and it is hard to do your job against bigger players when you are not very competent.

    In NZ officials don’t want to scare the big guys, you even see it now the MSM is worried about OZ gangs coming to NZ, however we have had massive Asian gangs or individuals operating Meth here for a long time with very little interest of actually stopping the social harm. They feel ok to be agreived about the Aussies, but too scared to speak out against the same happening with Asian gangs in case ‘trade’ gets upset. Social harm is social harm, wherever it is coming from!

    Likewise the underpaying and fake work visas that is everywhere in NZ, and the dependants on various visas like students and temporary workers flooding into NZ (while thousands of skilled Kiwis’s leave because wages and conditions are dropping here).

    Funny enough the Burger King that got caught paying a worker under the minimum wages seems to have done it to a NZ permanent resident/citizen but apparently made sure they paid the migrant worker’s correctly… whose being exploited the most and driven out of the work force?


    Chefs and restaurant managers have dominated NZ essential skills lists for migration for a very long time… I wonder why when they can’t even pay people the minimum wages and holiday pay…

    seriously this country ability to provide minimum wages and conditions at a government level, is a joke as is pimping out 50,000 new residents and massive amounts of temporary workers coming to NZ, many on minimum wages to work jobs for these cheap employers breaking the law and driving out legitimate businesses who can’t compete with the wide spread scams!

  3. @ MB?
    You ask…
    ” Why is MBIE and the government allowing Restaurant Brands to cheat workers of their annual leave?”
    My answer is that the ‘workers’ are idiots.
    I read a funny little story about a lone nuclear physicist who went to the Isle of Sark with a gun to claim, by force if necessary, his own sovereignty over said Isle of Sark.
    “It is a royal fief, which forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament. It has a population of about 500.[1] Sark (including the nearby island of Brecqhou) has an area of 2.10 square miles (5.44 km2).[2]”
    Of course, he got his arsed kicked off the island. Twice, I think.
    Restaurant Brands workers should forget about asking for their entitlements and instead focus on gathering about them vast numbers of other workers from other areas of employment and then…? Stop working. Duh.
    If workers are not being paid for their work in accordance with the law and/or their terms of employment…? Don’t bloody work. And if Scabs turn up to work in your place? Beat the living shit out of them. What? About that? Is difficult to understand?
    If the nuclear physicist had turned up with a thousand fellows armed to the teeth, like the Germans did? Things might have been different.
    It is a toughie though. It’s either the tyranny of corporate power or the tyranny of the Mob. Personally, I’d prefer that people never ate the scrote restaurant brands excrete. Snouts, Arseholes and Entrails burger anyone? Type 2 Diabetes with your ‘Big Gulp’ sir? Today’s special is complimentary insulin. You think I’m being an idiot too. Then think again dear reader:

    • Agreed, stupid workers bring it on themselves.

      Also, wage theft isn’t a crime in NZ and the Labour inspectorate have maybe .. 25 stuff tops?

      The whole thing is ridiculous, especially when these workers vote for Labour and I just roll on the floor laughing when I hear they’re voting for National.

      Like the chronicly homeless, some workers just can’t be helped.

      New Zealand is a slaver’s paradise .. the slave masters are excellent at importanting slaves too ..

      I’d love to buy a option/ETF based on slave importation, would definitely be great returns .. some kind of ‘NZ Slave Index’ would be fab. Let’s make it happen.

      Something the whole country could get behind.

      • They ain’t just importing in slaves they are importing in the overseereers, and the new overlords and layers of overlords seem a lot less interested in any sort of rights or fairness…

        even employment structures now are created to be difficult to navigate with government policy, brand owners, franchises, managers, employee’s, unions, non unions, labour inspectorate…. probably even more layers… it makes it difficult to solve any problem as the blame is harder to directly pinpoint, everyone is on different pages and blame is not necessary on one party aka most of the layers are complicit in the process of not giving a damn for what is right and fairness while the focus is on, ‘someone else’s fault and ‘not my problem’…

        modern neoliberal work place Kafka

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