A Lewis Pass motor inn and cafe that failed to pay a migrant worker for three months' work has been ordered to pay almost $20,000.
The Employment Relations Authority has ordered the Alpine Motor Inn and Cafe to pay the worker $19,296 in wage and holiday pay arrears and penalties.
The director of the motor inn and cafe, Jerry Hohneck, said the worker was a volunteer during the three-month period, but the Authority said the evidence for that did not stack up.
It said Mr Hohneck's differing accounts of why the worker was not entitled to pay suggested he knew his actions were in breach of the Minimum Wage Act.
Labour Inspectorate regional manager David Milne said it was exploitation.
He said they were aware there was an issue in some sectors with businesses recruiting and treating people as volunteers, even though legally their work arrangements meant they were employees.