24 May 2020

Thousands of wage subsidy complaints evaluated

4:24 pm on 24 May 2020

The number of complaints against the government's wage subsidy scheme has increased significantly to nearly 4000 since early April.

New Zealand currency held fanned out in someones hand

Many complaints involve not just payments, but broader employment matters, MBIE says. Photo: 123rf.com

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said many of the 3888 complaints also involved broader employment matters.

"In the vast majority of cases assessed, it has been possible to resolve the complaint by providing the employee and the employer with information on the wage subsidy rules and employment rights and obligations," the spokesperson said.

"Other cases have been identified for potential further investigation."

The spokesperson said the employment contact centre had increased activity responding to questions about employment rights and obligations under the different Covid-19 alert Levels.

The ministry urges workers and businesses to keep in regular contact with one another and to act in good faith.

So far, $10.9 billion has been paid out in the wage subsidy scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said yesterday.

The scheme was set up in march to try and protect as many jobs as possible in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that the government is looking at other ways to support households and businesses coming out of the lockdown.