Income Relief Payment A Welcome Boost
The Government’s new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due to COVID-19 is a welcome boost, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.
A new COVID Income Relief Payment is being introduced, alongside a wider work programme on possible future employment insurance as New Zealand begins to rebuild the economy.
The payment will be available for 12-weeks from June 8 for anyone who has lost their job due to the impact of COVID-19. It will pay $490 a week to those who lost full-time work and $250 for part-time.
"As we start to see the fallout of COVID take hold of the economy, we are glad to see the Government cushioning the blow and protecting jobs where possible and supporting workers back into jobs where necessary," Mr Hope says.
"Providing this support will make it easier for people to retrain and upskill for their next job. This means business can hit the ground running with staff who bring the skills that they need."
Mr Hope says the relief payment is a great interim step towards a more sustainable model, but long-term thinking is critical.
"The Finance Minister announced that work is underway on a more permanent unemployment insurance scheme in New Zealand.
"The Future of Work Ministers group commissioned the work after a request from BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions. We look forward to its development.