Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment v Ace Steel Beam Ltd [2020] NZDC 1754

Published 12 June 2020

Sentencing — knowingly employed an unlawful employee — no valid work VISA — employment law — aided, abetted, incited, counselled or procured a person to breach a condition of VISA — corporate liability and individual liability — Immigration Act 2009, ss 343(1)(d) & 350(1)(a). Two defendants appeared for sentence after breaching the Immigration Act by illegally hiring employees. The first defendant was a company convicted of six charges of knowingly employing an unlawful employee. The second defendant was that company's director and was convicted on four counts that he had aided, abetted, incited, counselled or procured a person to breach a condition of VISA. For almost two years the company had hired people who did not have the required work VISA to work in New Zealand. The Judge noted this offending is harmful as it can lead to mistreatment of an unlawfully employed person who then has no recourse to New Zealand law or authorities to uphold their rights. The company was given a starting fine of $3000 for each charge. This was reduced to $1800 for the company's previous good character, remorse and guilty plea. The company director was given a starting fine of $1800 per charge. This was reduced to $900 per charge for good character, remorse and guilty plea. Judgment Date: 4 February 2020.