17 Sep 2009

Nine-day fortnight scheme change mooted

4:15 pm on 17 September 2009

Talks are underway about possible improvements to the nine-day fortnight jobs initiative introduced at the end of March.

The scheme was the main intiative to come out of the Government's Job Summit, held at the start of the year. Under the initiative, the Government pays workers $12.50 an hour for five hours work on the tenth day of the working fortnight.

The Labour Party says the scheme is a failure, with just 38 firms applying to be included in six months.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett denies the scheme is a failure and says officials are working with the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) to see whether any improvements can be made.

The CTU wants training included in the scheme and a rise in the level of subsidy so that it is above the minimum wage.