Other industries raise concerns after retail workers claim they are working unpaid overtime

After some of the biggest names in New Zealand retail have been contacted by a workers union to investigate claims of unpaid overtime, other sectors are now raising their voices too.

The early childhood sector is one of those now looking into concerns about unpaid overtime.

"What I'm hearing is that within the private commercial sector teachers have been asked to come in for meetings in their own time unpaid," Early Childhood Education national executive rep Virginia Oakly told 1 NEWS.

First Union has collated complaints from its union and non-union members who allege their respective companies have been expecting employees to either stay back and work late for tasks, such as cashing up, tidying up or for work-related meetings.

1 NEWS spoke with a former staff member from a popular clothing brand, who said he felt “exploited” by the company .

"Essentially they’re using us for free labour. Often when we were meant to finish at eight, we’d be there at quarter to nine. So 15 minutes was paid, 30 minutes was not," he said.

Thirty percent of those who responded to First Union had similar stories. The organisation says it has communicated this morning with a number of major companies and asked them to investigate. 

Retail, finance and commerce secretary Tali Williams says the companies involved vary drastically in how widespread the problem is within their company.

"For some, it's simply a rogue issue with one supervisor or manager not being aware that they are breaking the law, for others it’s a systemic issue throughout company stores nationally."

Ms Williams says the work with companies will continue over the coming weeks.

"We will work with companies to ensure employees are not asked to work without pay."

First Union says it's received thousands of complaints from disgruntled current and former staff. Source: 1 NEWS