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Taste of Egypt staff underpaid by $65K and worked 70 hours a week
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General Discussion | Taste of Egypt staff underpaid by $65K and worked 70 hours a week


M Harris
26th Nov 2015

They were overworked, underpaid and spied on by surveillance cameras.

Now two former Nelson food workers have some retribution.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered food retailers Taste of Egypt (TofE) Ltd to pay the workers $68,000 and to pay a penalty of $20,000.

The company, which operated outlets in Nelson and in Papanui, Christchurch, was found to have underpaid the workers, Rohit Sharma and Gurpreet Singh, by about $65,000. They were not paid for all hours worked and were not paid annual leave and public holidays.

Labour inspectors began investigating the Nelson outlet in April last year after a member of the public raised concerns the men were working 70 hours a week and paid for only 30.

The company's directors are Diane MacFarlane and Saeed Awad, of Richmond, who are also its shareholders.

In a decision released this week, ERA member Michael Loftus ruled Taste of Egypt Ltd had to pay the workers $64,559 plus interest of $3791.

He also imposed a penalty of $20,000 to express a "strong statement of condemnation for multiple infractions". The company was ordered to pay $3571 costs.

The claims covered failing to pay minimum wages, failing to pay statutory holidays appropriately, failing to pay alternate holiday pay, failing to provide annual leave, failing to maintain individual wage and time records, and failing to maintain leave records.

The workers' employment ended in September when the Nelson branch was sold.
15th Dec 2015
The ERA didn't understand. The owners were trying to create an authentic dining experience.
See eg.
"Therefore they did set over them task-masters, to afflict them with their burdens: ..............
And the Egyptians made the children of India to serve with rigour..............
And they made their lives bitter, with hard bondage.......... and in all maner of service in their field: all their service wherein they made them serve, was with rigour."
16th Dec 2015
Taste of Egypt Ltd in Sundial Square has been sold for $70,000 but its owners and directors, Dianne MacFarlane and Saeed Awad, have a second takeaway restaurant of that name in Papanui Rd, Christchurch.

New owners of the Nelson place renamed it to Flavo(u)rs of Cairo. I think it is Flavours because that's what is on their google place and facebook. However someone claiming to be one of the owners posted on reddit that it was renamed to Flavors of Cairo.
Google Place

Radio NZ story$92,000-penalty

NZ ERA press release has a link to the pdf of the determination

M Harris
26th Jan 2016
Taste of Egypt got a review on this site recently. But it looks like a dubious advert.

[Edited 27th Jan 2016 08:30 PM]

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