Total Disconnect

So on the day that Shearer re-announces a Labour policy that he’d subsidise businesses to take on people from the dole….

Fenton tries to score a point in Parliament by claiming the act of asking if someone is on the dole is a breach of their human rights.

Total disconnect. But wait…as the ad says there’s more…

Now the Greens have unwittingly announced they oppose Shearer’s apprentice subsidy

The Green Party today lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission over the Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill.

The proposed legislation will mean that from April next year, employers will be able to pay 18- and 19-year-olds entering the workforce after spending more than six months on a benefit significantly less than the minimum wage.

“National’s return to youth rates very clearly discriminates on the basis of young workers’ employment status,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“The Human Rights Act states that it is ‘unlawful to discriminate on the ground of employment status in any of the prohibited areas of public life.’

But wait…there’s more….

It gets better and better … now Labour formally opposes discrimination on the basis of employment status.

The Government’s youth wages proposal not only highlights its on-going arrogance towards private and discriminatory information, but has a number of serious implications for would-be employers, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues, Darien Fenton says.

The Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill allows an employer to pay less than the minimum wage to a young person who has been on a benefit for at least six months or is in training in a recognised industry training course involving at least 40 credits a year.

“But what is not clearly explained is how employers will be able to find out whether a young worker has been on a benefit for six months before they make a decision to hire them.

“Given the current issues around privacy breaches it is questionable as to whether Work and Income should be able to provide that information to employers.

 “The Human Rights Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of employment status, including being on a benefit, and their advice is that employers should not ask the benefit status of prospective employees.

“Not only that, employers who advertise Starting Out wage jobs for 16 and 17 year olds could also find themselves in breach of requirements not to discriminate on the grounds of age.

How can Labour introduce a policy for apprentice subsidies for people on the dole, if employers aren’t allowed to ask if people are on the dole?

What moron in Shearer’s office prepared a speech so at odds with their other attacks…does no one communicate?


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  • Evan

    The company I work for took on some of those subsidised workers from Winz in the early 2000s and it was a complete failure as none of them actually wanted to work, and were at best apathetic and at worst dangerous. None of them lasted long and eventually most just didn’t turn up, one did bother to submit a resignation note that read “I quit because I can’t be f****d getting up in the morning”. To make it funnier (if it wasn’t so tragic) there was a slightly higher subsidy available for Maori but they came with the added requirement for management to attend compulsory cultural sensitivity training but at the company’s expense, which is funny because the staff at the time were like a mini UN with all sorts of nationalities working there. The upshot was the lack of willing workers lead to the company basing it’s manufacturing operation overseas.

    • AnonWgtn

      I once worked in a Kiwifruit packhouse.
      We had a number of Winz “appointees”. One was on the line with me and he told me that he had been told by Winz to go to the packhouse, and come off the dole.
      He worked minimally for 2-3 days then deliberately sabotage a run – which is not difficult, and was put off.
      He told me that was what he wanted as he could take his pay chit and show Winz so he could go back on the dole.
      He had no intention of working, and during the lunch break, along with his bro collected his stash from his lady whanau who came to the packhouse to deliver the baccy from her car to those who wanted it. Ever seen zombies at work ?
      On a line bloody dangerous to everybody.
      There is no basic work ethics among the many unemployed, so how is Shearer going to handle that ?
      Winz says go to Christchurch they have plenty of jobs – go to Winz there and they will find you work – they know where the jobs are.
      From say BOP –
      How am I to get to Christchurch ?
      Who is going to sort out accomodation for me ?
      How am I going to get to the job ?
      How much am I going to get paid?
      What are the hours ?
      What are the lunch breaks ?
      Fix that for me and I will think about it next year – like hell I am staying here with my Whanau where I can get regularly stoned.