Monday, 7 February 2022

The rorts to come

It is just too easy to think up potential rorts under the government's proposed Unemployment Insurance scheme. 

This week's column in the Stuff papers:

Or consider maternity benefits.

Parental leave provides payments of up to $621.76 per week. But if a parent-to-be were to be made redundant, just consider the benefits for those on higher incomes!

Rather than see their pay drop to a meagre $621.76 per week, they could receive up to about $2000 per week – if they earned $130,000 or more before taking parental redundancy.

It really is brilliant. Labour has come up with a mechanism ensuring higher-earning women face fewer costs when having children, while doing fairly little for women on lower wages.

If a right-wing government had come up with the scheme, it would be accused of doing it deliberately, and possibly with eugenic intentions.

What employer would be so mean as to decline their employee’s request to be made redundant before the birth of their child?

And while parental leave is only available to one parent at a time, both parents in a two-income family could take redundancy. They could enjoy a full year with one parent at home with the new baby, or six months of family togetherness. On an “insurance” payment.

The only tragedy in the scheme is that it was not available when we had our children. Alas.

Read the whole thing. If you can come up with better and more interesting rorts, list 'em in the comments. Or keep them to yourself until the government uses its majority to pass this mess, then try them out. 

Update: On thinking on this more, and chatting with a few people about it, I wonder whether one of the big problems here is civil servants just not understanding the difference between an adversarial kind of employment law case and a collusive one. If an employer makes someone redundant, the employee will have incentive to take it to court if the employer has done so improperly. If an employer and employee collude to make an employee redundant, providing a 28-day golden handshake instead of going through a costly employment process (and a further several months on the government's dime), that's fundamentally different. 

1 comment:

  1. "What employer would be so mean as to decline their employee’s request to be made redundant before the birth of their child?"

    An employer who understands that they have to pay the first 1 month of the benefit themselves. So now they're paying someone 80% of their wage for 1 month, but getting 0 work out of them.

    Sure, some companies might go along with that (and certainly ones where the woman in question has direct ties to the owner of the business). But most won't.