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Hastings employer sentenced for employing an illegal worker Thursday, 13 September 2018

A takeaway and pizza delivery store and its former owner have been sentenced for unlawfully employing a worker and aiding a person to breach visa conditions.

TNRLNZ Ltd, which operated a Pizza Hut store in Hastings, was convicted and fined $2,000 at the Auckland District Court of a charge under the Immigration Act for unlawfully employing a worker. 

The director of TNRLNZ Ltd, Mahipal Reddy Kolan, was also convicted and fined $1,500 after seeking discharge without conviction, arguing that a conviction may jeopardise his franchises.

Judge Noel Sainsbury said he did not consider there was a real and appreciable risk that any franchise would be jeopardised for an offence of this nature although he accepted there was a degree of uncertainty. He added that even if it did, Mr Kolan could pursue other business opportunities.  He added that if the defendant was breaching the law relating to foreign workers, it was not his job to protect Mr Kolan from the consequences of his action.

Judge Sainsbury noted “The fines were really only incidental, it was the convictions that would bite.” 

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy says New Zealand businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees are legally entitled to work for them.

“Kolan shows a regard only for himself, entering a guilty plea to the charge, and yet swearing and filing an affidavit denying the offending.  This was in order to avoid a conviction impacting his current Subway franchise, having sold the pizza franchise after the offence. We hope this sentence sends a strong signal that we will take action against employers and others who assist employers to employ workers who are not entitled to work for them.”

The worker who breached his visa conditions left the country in September 2017.

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