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COVID-19: Support for working Kiwis from government welcomed

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s announcement from the Minister of Finance to further support working Kiwis.

“Maintaining working Kiwis in employment is essential to ensure we can get though this challenging time,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“It is absolutely vital that employers take up this support from Government and pass the whole 80% subsidy through to employees. They have a responsibility to do the right thing by all New Zealanders and by those they employ. It has been deeply disturbing to hear reports of irresponsible behaviour by some employers who have not behaved in a way that is considerate of staff.”

“The government has been crystal clear – today’s announcement is to prevent any employer making redundancies because of implications of the COVID-19 virus. We need to keep workers connected to their jobs and employed, not thrown on the dole queue. The government has also been clear that employment laws are still in place. Collective agreements must still be adhered to. Employers have a duty to do the right thing.”

“We will be working with unions and working people to help ensure that employers take up this opportunity in the best interests of working people.” Wagstaff said.

Note: The wage subsidy is $585.80 a week for full-time workers (who worked 20 or more hours per week before COVID-19) and $350 a week for part-time workers (fewer than 20 hours).