30 October 2008
Relaxing the Rules for Redundant Workers is Welcome Relief - the kids need it too
The National Distribution Union says Labour's plans to give redundant workers immediate access to the unemployment benefit without a spousal income test is a "must have" as the country heads towards hard times.
"If legislation is needed to get this help through then let's hope all parties willl co-operate. Three hundred workers are preparing for Christmas without a job in Putaruru and the Mount where Carter Holt are closing mills. Hundreds more expect to be out of a job in retail stores as soon as the Christmas rush is over. Workers in three Warehouse Extra stores will be hearing their fate in the near future as the company pulls out of the supermarket industry," said NDU National Sectretary Laila Harré.
The Union is urging Labour not to withhold the in-work tax credit from children currently covered by the Working for Families programme if one of their parents applies for this relief.
"Under current policy the kids will be punished twice. First by Mum or Dad losing their job, and second by them losing another $60 a week in child support if they apply for relief. That must change or a big chunk of the relief going into a parent's pocket will come out of a child's lunchbox."
Laila Harré says it is hoped the policy will extend to part-time and casual workers.
"Part time and casual workers are usually first in line when it comes to job losses. They are the invisible edge of the recession and this policy needs to extend to them. Often employed by labour hire companies they are seen as expendable. Thousands will already have had their hours and days of work cut. They need this relief too," said Laila Harré.