Good employers are being singled out in a new scheme run by the hospitality industry.
HospoCred aims to provide a way to let customers know whether a business is paying staff fairly and providing decent working conditions.
Shawn Pope is the co-owner of Melba Group, which oversees eight cafes across Auckland.
He says the accreditation tick benefits both employers and employees.
“HospoCred… brings some credibility to you as an employer and if we can become an employer of choice in this market, it can be only a good thing, not only for my business, my team members, new team members.”
Proponents say the certification system is thorough and will see the Restaurant Association of New Zealand (RANZ) interview employers to determine how they treat workers.
Association chief executive Marisa Bidois says that just like a warrant of fitness employers will face regular check-ups.
“Employment practice, systems, financial areas, also training, it's quite an intensive process.”
The industry has faced recent criticism in recent years, described by current and former employees as a sector rife with wage theft, a lack of breaks and employer bullying.
But Bidois says the initiative is about showcasing positive examples and creating a new standard for aspiring business owners.
“I think it's about highlighting the businesses that are going above and beyond… and creating a level standard for these businesses to work towards if they're not quite there.”
But Chloe Ann-King, leader of the hospitality workers union Raise the Bar, describes HospoCred as a “bottom line accreditation scheme”.
“Really all that's going to be enforced here, the minimum wage, minimum employee entitlements.
“I think there is a bit of an admission from the Restaurant Association that there are deep-seated issues in our industry.
“Absolutely our industry needs to be cleaned up. We need to be getting sustainable careers and liveable incomes into our industry and attracting new talent and holding on to old talent,” she said.
She says real changes require fair pair agreements and an increase in the minimum wage.
“And that’s something the [RANZ] have opposed.”