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Employment Probation Periods—Work and Income Support

Tuesday 3 March 2009 Hansard source (external site)

Bradford9. SUE BRADFORD (Green) Link to this
to the Minister for Social Development and Employment

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?

BennettHon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development and Employment) Link to this

No, they are offered more protection.

BradfordSue Bradford Link to this

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?

BennettHon PAULA BENNETT Link to this

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.

ShanksKatrina Shanks Link to this

What impact does the Minister think the legislation will have on beneficiaries’ ability to move into employment?

BennettHon PAULA BENNETT Link to this

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.

BradfordSue Bradford Link to this

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?

BennettHon PAULA BENNETT Link to this

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.

PrasadDr Rajen Prasad Link to this

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?

BennettHon PAULA BENNETT Link to this

Our intention is that we will look at the individual circumstances of the person and, in discussion with both that person and the employer—as is the current practice—we will make decisions on all benefit entitlements.

Mar 2009
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