Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Little will to get people into jobs


When people receive a benefit they have certain obligations eg to accept a job when one becomes available. If they fail to meet these obligations they lose part or all of their benefit.

Has that become an archaic idea?

Naturally the imposition of sanctions dropped off during the initial lock-down but since then the numbers have been very low.

I believe one reason is that WINZ has been so busy processing applicants for assistance other functions have been suspended.

But it is also likely that compaints from various sectors that they can't find workers is also connected with WINZ reticence/inability to actually chase people up to meet their obligations.

When Labour took office in 2017 they appointed the Welfare Expert Advisory Group to make recommendations on the overhaul of the welfare system. Here is an excerpt from one of the papers provided to the group:

Out of 40 [OECD] countries, New Zealand ranked:

 6th most strict for availability requirements and suitable work criteria

 20th (in the middle of the group) for strictness of job-search requirements and


 27th for strictness of sanctions

 14th most strict overall (Langenbucher, 2015).

It'd be safe to say NZ will have fallen down those rankings since. 

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