Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Let’s have some fairness for fired workers

Let’s have some fairness for fired workers on the seventh day of Christmas

On the ‘seventh day of Christmas’, the Green Party today revealed that workers dismissed under the 90 day law could be going without income for up to 13 weeks over Christmas because of unfair WINZ rules.

“Under the 90 trial employment legislation, workers can be fired without warning, with no reason given, and with no recourse to normal employment protections,” Green Party Work and Income spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“As if that isn’t bad enough, the Green Party has uncovered that if someone fired under the 90 day law applies for the Unemployment Benefit, WINZ staff can prevent them from getting it for up to 13 weeks if they judge that the worker was dismissed for misconduct.

“The employee has none of the normal recourse to contest their dismissal, meaning that WINZ staff can withhold support based purely on the word of their employer,” Ms Delahunty said.

In an answer to a written question from the Green Party, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett confirmed that WINZ staff can stand someone down from receiving the unemployment benefit for up to 13 weeks if they judge that the employer has provided ‘proof’ that the employee was dismissed for misconduct.

“This casts the WINZ staff member as judge, jury, and executioner,” Ms Delahunty said.

“There is huge potential for abuse. There are no clear guidelines about what is sufficient ‘proof’ of misconduct. Potentially all it would take is a malicious phone call from an employer to WINZ alleging misconduct, and an employee could be denied access to the safety net of the welfare system for over three months.

“WINZ staff are not trained to make these judgements, nor can we have confidence – especially in light the Alternative Welfare Working Group’s recent findings about the hostile attitude of many WINZ staff – that they would make these decisions in the best interests of the dismissed worker.

“These rules are in place now. Workers and their families already reeling from unfair dismissals may be going without the essentials this Christmas because of them. And the number of people affected will skyrocket when the 90 day law comes into force for all workers in New Zealand.

“The unfair 90 day law should be scrapped, but while we have it, the safety net should be strengthened, not weakened, in recognition of the risk that more people will find themselves unexpectedly out of work without recourse to the normal protections.

“Scrapping the 90 day law and treating workers fairly are on the Greens’ Christmas wish-list of measures that would guarantee families the essentials, reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and help to build a stronger community that’s better for everyone,” Ms Delahunty said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ability to pick winners. Others would have looked at the dying remnants of the old Act Party and written it off. Yet National needed an MMP partner and it saw the potential where no-one else did. And so it re-grew the Act Party in a petri dish in Epsom, and carefully nurtured it back to life... More>>

 

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:

Poll: Labour On 46%, National 31%, While Greens And ACT Both On 8%

Tonight's political poll puts Labour on 46 percent and National on 31 percent with just one day remaining until election day. More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels