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First jobs saved under Job Support Scheme

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for Disability Issues
Minister for Youth Affairs

20 April 2009
Media Statement

First jobs saved under Job Support Scheme

More than 100 jobs have been retained as two more firms joined Fisher and Paykel in signing up for financial assistance under the Job Support Scheme, Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett said today.

Ms Bennett confirmed today that Oamaru-based Summit Wool Spinners and another manufacturing firm, which wishes to remain anonymous, had joined the scheme

The arrangement will see 117 jobs retained, including 60 at Fisher and Paykel’s manufacturing arm and 57 at Summit Wool. Another six jobs will be retained at the manufacturing firm.

``We are now seeing the benefit of this scheme for employers and their employees as we work through these difficult economic times,’’ Ms Bennett said. ``The impact of retaining these jobs for at least the next six months should not be underestimated. Summit Wool is Oamaru’s second-biggest employer.’’

Fisher and Paykel CEO John Bongard said that without the Job Support Scheme and its own company contribution, those employees would have been made redundant. ``These are exceptional times, and it is tremendous to see all parties working together to come to a satisfactory solution," Mr Bongard said.

Ms Bennett said that Work and Income had had around 60 approaches from mainly manufacturing and construction businesses about the scheme and how it might work for them. “I expect that more firms will come on board in the next few weeks,” she said.

Under the scheme, employers, workers and unions will negotiate voluntary agreements to reduce their hours of work. The Government will pay employers $12.50 (the adult minimum wage) an hour per worker, for up to five hours a fortnight.

Workers cannot be made redundant while they are in the scheme.


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