Nasty surprises revealed in Budget
A number of nasty surprises have emerged from yesterday’s Budget, says the Council of Trade Unions.
• Allowing employers using the Job Opportunities subsidy to dismiss workers in the first 3 months with no appeal rights
• Removing the tax rebate on redundancy pay
• Slashing employment relations education funding.
CTU President Helen Kelly said: “It is a major concern that employers can claim up to a $5,000 subsidy through the Job Ops scheme yet unfairly dismiss that subsidised worker desperate for a chance to work given the ongoing impact of the recession on young people. To remove the right of appeal against unfair dismissal from such vulnerable workers is grossly unfair.”
Kelly said that the removal of the tax rebate for redundancy pay should be reconsidered. At the present time a worker who receives redundancy compensation and therefore ends up in a higher tax bracket can get a 6 percent reduction in tax on their compensation. The same principle should apply from October even though the rebate would be a different amount given changed tax scales.
The cut in employment relations education (from $2 million to $889,000) will undermine opportunities for initiatives in areas such as employment rights, representative training, and health and safety. “It is a sign that the Government does not see any real significance in the role of fostering positive employment relations,” said Kelly.