This has been a problem for many years and was identified on a large scale over four years ago but hardly anyone has been repaid.
Even though the problem exists at most workplaces in NZ, only around 150 major employers have been asked by the Ministry of Business, Industry and Enterprise (MBIE), the government agency responsible for enforcing legal minimum standards for workers, to pay the money back to their workers.
MBIE officials have told Unite Union that they do not have the capacity to ensure all workplaces comply with the law, despite that being the role of the labour inspectorate.
The Government needs to impose a remediation process
The government needs to take action to force all medium to large employers into a remediation process.
Most major private employers are not even being asked to do an audit by MBIE, the government agency responsible. This is rewarding theft.
Most employers in the government sector, like the Ministry of Education, appear to be moving to fix things and have established a website that people can go to.
But most private sector employers seem to be sitting on their hands. Many have claimed it is too hard to work out. In fact, it is relatively simple, but there is reluctance from payroll providers to change the broken systems they already have in place.
If all workers are to receive what they are owed, there is no alternative but for the government to step in to force all employers to pay the money back now.