135 Recovery of penalties

(1)

Any action for the recovery of a penalty may be brought,—

(a)

in the case of a breach of an employment agreement, at the suit of any party to the employment agreement who is affected by the breach; or

(b)

in the case of a breach of this Act, at the suit of any person in relation to whom the breach is alleged to have taken place; or

(c)

if permitted in the particular penalty provision, by a Labour Inspector.

(2)

Every person who is liable to a penalty under this Act is liable,—

(a)

in the case of an individual, to a penalty not exceeding $10,000:

(b)

in the case of a company or other corporation, to a penalty not exceeding $20,000.

(3)

A claim for 2 or more penalties against the same person may be joined in the same action.

(4)

In any claim for a penalty the Authority or the court may give judgment for the total amount claimed, or any amount, not exceeding the maximum specified in subsection (2), or the Authority or the court may dismiss the action.

(4A)

The Authority or the court may order payment of a penalty by instalments, but only if the financial position of the person paying the penalty requires it.

(4B)

In determining whether to give judgment for a penalty, and the amount of that penalty, the Authority or the court must consider whether the person against whom the penalty is sought has previously failed to comply with an improvement notice issued under section 223D.

(5)

An action for the recovery of a penalty under this Act must be commenced within 12 months or, for a penalty for non-compliance with section 69ABE, within 6 months after the earlier of—

(a)

the date when the cause of action first became known to the person bringing the action; or

(b)

the date when the cause of action should reasonably have become known to the person bringing the action.

(6)

Despite subsection (5), if a court refuses to make a pecuniary penalty order under section 142E, an action for the recovery of a penalty under this Act in relation to the same matter must be commenced within 3 months after the refusal.

Compare: 1991 No 22 s 53

Section 135(2)(a): amended, on 1 April 2011, by section 18(1) of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 125).

Section 135(2)(b): amended, on 1 April 2011, by section 18(2) of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 125).

Section 135(4A): inserted, on 1 December 2004, by section 44(1) of the Employment Relations Amendment Act (No 2) 2004 (2004 No 86).

Section 135(4B): inserted, on 1 April 2011, by section 18(3) of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 125).

Section 135(5): substituted, on 1 December 2004, by section 44(2) of the Employment Relations Amendment Act (No 2) 2004 (2004 No 86).

Section 135(5): amended, on 1 April 2019, by section 12 of the Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Act 2018 (2018 No 21).

Section 135(6): inserted, on 1 April 2016, by section 13 of the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2016 (2016 No 9).