Some retailers still not paying staff in full as latest Covid-19 lockdown hits Auckland

Katie Bradford
Source: 1News

Businesses and unions have come together to urge all employers to “do the right thing” as another lockdown hits Auckland.

There are four taxpayer-funded payments available for businesses to access – yet 1 NEWS understands there are still employers who are not paying their staff.

Retail giant OPSM only paid staff 25 per cent during February’s three-day lockdown, and told staff to take annual leave if they wanted to be fully paid.

First Union says international clothing company H&M only paid its staff 60 per cent during the lockdown.

Are you a worker who hasn’t received full pay during lockdowns? Contact Katie Bradford

1 NEWS has asked OPSM and H&M if they will be applying for the latest round of the Government’s wage subsidy.

OPSM owner Luxoticca received nearly $3 million for about 600 workers following last year’s lockdown.

But other workers have come forward anonymously to 1 NEWS saying they’ve been told to take annual leave this week if they want to be paid while stores are closed.

Some other retail workers say they also have only been paid 60 per cent of their income.

There are also concerns about people not being paid if they need to take time off for Covid-19 tests or isolation.

CTU’s Richard Wagstaff says everyone must work together.

“There should be no disadvantage or penalty of any kind for shielding others from Covid-19,” Wagstaff said.

Business NZ’s Kirk Hope says the “consequences and costs of failure would be huge for all of us”.

The Prime Minister says the Government is doing all it can, and employers must pay staff.

From the last rounds of wage subsidy payouts, over 1000 cases have been referred for investigation.

No charges have been laid in relation to the wage subsidy scheme.

Nearly half a million dollars has been paid out in short term absence payment and $19 million for the leave support scheme, since February 19.