COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Extension announcement good for working people

The Council of Trade Unions welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Finance today to extend the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. The payment will protect jobs for businesses affected by the recent rise in alert levels. Applications to the Wage Subsidy Scheme can be made to the Ministry of Social Development from 1pm Thursday 4 March, with payments to begin from Monday 8 March.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff said, “We are pleased that the government has continued with the necessary Wage Subsidy Scheme. It makes it clear that employers must continue to employ employees for the period that they are receiving the Subsidy. We would encourage all employers to make sure they are doing the right thing and paying the full wages of their employees, not just the governments contribution”.

“The government has now made a range of support available for businesses because of COVID-19. Employers should be making sure that they are looking after their workforce, minimising the threat of COVID-19 transmission, and working with employees and their unions to protect jobs and livelihoods”.

“On Monday the CTU and Business New Zealand released a joint statement calling on all workplaces to play their part in helping New Zealand beat the latest COVID outbreak and help minimise the risk of future outbreaks. This subsidy from the government will provide further support to deliver on that goal,” Wagstaff said.

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