5 Sep 2019

Fighting exploitation in the New Zealand supply chain

From Nine To Noon, 9:21 am on 5 September 2019
Farmer harvesting in vine yard.

Photo: 123RF

Businesses are being warned to take action against migrant worker exploitation in their supply chains - or face financial penalties and customer backlash.

Of the 600 investigations completed by the Labour Inspectorate in the year to the end of June, 64 per cent involved migrant workers. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise says ignorance is no defence, and business leaders are warning that if exploitation in the supply chain exists, brand damage can ensue swiftly. 

Lynn Freeman is joined by Tania Donaldson, with MBIE's Employment Services, New Zealand Institute of Directors member Sarah Baddeley from MartinJenkins who  co-led the Chorus' Independent Review which looked at migrant exploitation and Mark Devadason of the NGO, the Mekong Club, a Hong Kong based NGO dedicated to the abolition of modern slavery by uniting and mobilising the private sector.

Employment New Zealand provides detailed guides for employers on adhering to their rights and responsibilities on its website and sets out some practical steps to identify and mitigate labour rights issues in supply chains