got this via email:
Ms Jewitt is training to be a hairdresser. It’s an entry course only but after three months she'll become a full-time student and she'll be eligible for the student allowance. But for now, she's penniless.
Recently she scored herself a retail job at Overland shoes in Hamilton. It earns her the minimum wage - $12.50 an hour. She travels in every Saturday from Te Pahu, 30 kilometres out of Hamilton.... After tax, Ms Jewitt ends up with $50 in her pocket.
All was going well until Ms Jewitt’s manager told her she had to start wearing new season Overland shoes. Not just wear them, the manager said she had to buy a new pair every three months. There’s nothing in her contract about it but the dress code in the Overland staff booklet says employees are expected to wear “current season footwear."
The discount policy in the overland booklet states when she buys her first pair of $300 shoes she'll receive 75% off which means the shoes cost her $75.00. After that first pair, the discount becomes smaller and smaller. It drops to 50% and then 25%.
The Manager told Ms Jewitt that she is on a three month probation period and by not wearing the shoes she was not committed to the job.
read the full story, it gets worse. this is an expected result of the "fire-at-will" law for the first 90 days of employment. it's an exploitation of young workers, placing unreasonable demands on those in a vulnerable situation. as the government is keeping no records or information around the effects of this law, there is no way to determine how many other workers are being fired for refusing to comply with unreasonable demands such as this.
basically, if the company wants their staff to be wearing their footwear, they should provide it free of charge. in the meantime, like ms jewitt, i'll be buying my shoes elsewhere.