COVID-19 : Ensuring needs of working Kiwis are met

TheCouncil of Trade Unions is monitoring the emerging situation with COVID-19 andthe impact on working people. “We are working closely with working people,their unions, the Government, Ministry officials and business groups to try andensure that the COVID-19 virus is contained and that people are supportedappropriately,” CTU Policy Director and Economist Andrea Black said.

“Weare pleased that the Government is has removed the ‘stand-down’ period forpeople needing financial assistance through welfare payments. It’s also goodthat the Government is working with banks to ensure they can help supportcustomers.”

“Weare welcoming the Governments wage subsidies to keep people connected withtheir workplaces, training for affected working people, support foremployers.”

“TheCTU is pleased to see the Government preparing for future eventualities,engaging with unions and business and being prepared to take decisive action.

At aminimum, we see that the following things are necessary –

Practical support for people displaced from their jobs including supporting unions to work with members if there are workplace and industry closures.

Increased statutory sick leave. Income support for all working people who are casual or contractors who can’t work or are self-isolating.

Support from welfare system to be on an individual basis – as many low and medium income households require two incomes to avoid hardship.

Working for Families payments to continue for people who lose their jobs. Increased benefit levels and action Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommendations that are relevant to the threat of the virus.” Black said.

/Public Release. View in full here.