BIG NEWS

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bradford rabble rousing over 90 day law



Sue Bradford has advised that WINZ had declined assistance to a beneficiary about to start work because he was not going to be in permanent employment, due the new 90 day law that came into force on Sunday.

I find that pretty hard to believe that WINZ would lawfully do that for that reason. Bradford asked a question in parliament today asking if those who are offered employment under the 90-day probation law are entitled to the same support from Work and Income New Zealand as those offered employment not under the 90-day probation law?

The Minister said they are offered more protection. Given that WINZ work brokers will be arranging some of this employment - and paying much of the first 90 days salary in some cases, WINZ are hardly going to scuffle assistance because the person is under a 90 day probationary period. Beneficiaries can’t get an automatic 13 week stand down if they are fired under the 90 day law, like they can if they are fired after 90 days and don’t take a personal grievance case.

Rajen Prasad asked how the Minister will 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?

They don’t play judge and jury now. At least they are not supposed to. If there is doubt, beneficiaries have the benefit of the doubt and WINZ will only stand down if the person has been fired under normal circumstances and if they don’t appeal. If they have been fired for any (including no) reason under the 90 day law, they will be treated a little more leniently given that they cannot take a personal grievance case, thus eliminating their stand down to get on a benefit in the interim. They`ll get on a benefit sooner until the employer has been spoken to.

At least what’s what should happen. As there is no mechanism to determine whether an allegation of misconduct actually has any substance, WINZ can’t apply the 13-week stand down without some investigation..

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Scoopit!

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