NZ firm fined for forcing Pinoy workers to sign 'illegal' bond
A recruitment firm in New Zealand has been sanctioned for forcing Filipino workers to sign a bond that would have them pay $5,000 if they quit before the end of their contracts, according to Taranaki Daily News.
One World Resourcing was fined $9,000 after its chief executive, identified as Declan Clancy, allegedly required five Filipinos to sign a "bond document" in June 2015 that would have them pay $4,968 if they leave before the end of their contract.
About $1,500 of the fine will go to the five Filipinos as compensation, the report said.
The report quoted New Zealand's Employment Relations Authority (ERA) as saying that the bond was equivalent to seeking a "premium" or the illegal practice of making employees buy a job.
According to the report, the Filipinos were made to sign the document after Clancy learned that two of them wanted to leave. One Filipino was reportedly threatened that his visa would be cancelled if he did not agree to the bond.
The ERA ruled that One World put pressure on the workers and "sought to limit their individual choice" by making them sign the bond documents.
Prior to this, the Filipinos were reportedly required to get a bank loan upon arriving in 2015 to pay off $3248 for "immigration services, visa costs, flights, a bicycle, a week's rent and a wage advance."
One World only had to pay a discounted fine for cooperating with the labor inspector, breaching the Wages Protection Act by accident, and withdrawing the bond agreements after being told they were illegal.
However, the Christchurch-based company may lose its right to recruit migrant labor for a year due to a policy by Immigration New Zealand.
Immigration NZ imposed a policy on April 1 that blocks companies from hiring migrant labor for breaching employment standards. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News