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Changing face of Work and Income launched today

Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister for Social Development

26 June 2018 MEDIA STATEMENT
Changing face of Work and Income launched today

Minister of Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, celebrated the launch of a brand new face to Work and Income, including a newly introduced set of Client Commitments and an online Eligibility Guide.

She also shared the results of changes to how benefit suspensions are undertaken.

Carmel Sepuloni said that much needed change was well underway, and that the new look offices were only the start.

“Work and Income is piloting a new front of house model in four of their service centres. The Ministry has taken up the challenge to do things differently,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“It can be difficult to ask for help. Creating a friendlier, warmer environment helps. Giving people more privacy, a space that’s welcoming and inclusive for everyone, and creating a child-friendly zone for children to learn and play is important.

“As of today, Work and Incomes Client Commitment will also be on display in every Work and Income office, in English, Māori and in New Zealand Sign Language.

“Clients have told Work and Income how they want to be treated, and the client commitment that reflects that.

“It is their commitment to clients, and puts whole new expectations in place in terms of the values Work and Income will live by.

“Today also marked the introduction of an online eligibility guide. Check your Eligibility

“As of today anyone can check what they might be eligible for from any mobile device or the web, including service centre kiosks.

“People don’t always know what help is available, and now they can see for themselves what support they might get.

“These changes build on other good work already underway.

“Already Work and Income has been using clearer guidelines and providing more support for staff when making discretionary decisions about suspending benefits.

“I have been clear that our staff must explore every other option rather than suspension of a benefit, and that the decision to suspend is not to be made by a single person alone. In the first three weeks since the new guidelines were introduced, there was a daily 23% reduction in suspensions. That demonstrates how critical those changes were.

“We have a long way to travel, and there is a lot more to do, but I am confident that under this new Government, things will only get better for both clients and staff at Work and Income,” Carmel Sepuloni said.


Access the online Eligibility Guide: https://check.msd.govt.nz/


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