Income Protection Plans - A Role For Unions?
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says unions ought to be taking a leading role in establishing income protection cover for their members in the event of business collapse.
He was responding to calls from some unions for employers to be required to set aside special funds to protect employees when businesses fail, in the light of the Qantas New Zealand receivership.
"Protection of employees' wage and salary entitlements in such circumstances is obviously critical, but the suggestion that employers be in effect required to provide for this in advance is clearly impractical."
"There is surely a role for unions here."
"They receive considerable membership fees from those they represent."
"Using that economic power to negotiate comprehensive insurance based income protection schemes on behalf of their members would be an extremely positive step the unions could take to serve their members' needs in a practical way."
"For example, the $80,000 the Engineers Union donated to the Labour Party at the last election would have been put to much more constructive effect had it been towards premium payments for comprehensive income protection for its members now suffering as a result of the Qantas New Zealand collapse," Mr Dunne says.