Are those who are offered employment under the 90-day probation law entitled to the same support from Work and Income as those offered employment not under the 90-day probation law?
No, they are offered more protection.
Why, then, has a Christchurch Work and Income office declined an application for relocation assistance from an unemployed person who had just found a job, on the grounds that the job was subject to the 90-day trial and therefore not considered “permanent employment” by Work and Income?
It must have been yesterday that that information came through, because the law came into effect on Sunday. Otherwise, it simply cannot be true that the employee was under the 90-day employment trial period.
What impact does the Minister think the legislation will have on beneficiaries’ ability to move into employment?
This legislation is an incentive for employers to give a beneficiary a go. Most beneficiaries just want a chance to improve their lives and get into paid work. I believe that this 90-day trial period will give them that chance.
Can the Minister give an assurance that, in future, unemployed people who find themselves in jobs that are subject to the 90-day probationary period will have their employment counted as a real job and will be offered the same entitlements as any others who find themselves work—which, after all, is what the Government so badly wants them to do?
This Government’s main focus and priorities are on helping people into work and into jobs, and there are many individual scenarios when dealing with those people. I would welcome seeing the particular case that has come to the member’s attention, because our whole intention is to help people into work wherever possible.
How will the Minister guarantee that Work and Income staff members do not play judge and jury where there is some doubt about who is at fault in cases where workers are fired during the 90-day trial?