28 Apr 2020

Some Cook Islands businesses misusing wage subsidy

6:51 am on 28 April 2020

The Cook Islands government is warning of enforcement action after reports of some businesses exploiting a wage subsidy to effectively get free labour.

The government said it's investigating complaints that the wage subsidy is being misused, and is assigning more officials to address discrepancies and address complaints.

Businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are receiving a minimum wage subsidy for 35 hours a week per employee, which businesses are then supposed to top up to meet their contracted hourly rate.

Deputy prime minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News he's getting some reports of businesses making staff work 35 hours a week on just the subsidy, without topping it up.