I see the media are now comparing the ‘redundancy’ packages on offer with all of the horse race vigour they applied to the tax cuts. That’s understandable as the media like quantifiable measures so they can make simple graphs and X is greater or less than Y soundbite statements. But what they have forgotten is that neither package is better than a decent redundancy clause and of the major parties only Labour is offering one of those.
I don’t expect it’ll be great but let’s have a look at what redundancy means:
A standard redundancy (at the low end) is 4+2* capped at 20 years.
That means someone who has worked for 5 years in the same job who is made redundant at a time they are taking home $500 a week in the hand will get fourteen weeks of pay or $7000 dollars.
If they have worked 20 years they get 44 weeks of pay or $22,000. Compared to the ‘assistance’ the two parties are offering that’s a lot of cash to use to cover your mortgage and look after your family.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, 80% of union negotiated employment agreements have redundancy clauses and 4+2 is on the low end – many are 6+2 or 8+2.
When you consider Labour’s policy is to protect workers’ rights and introduce a minimum redundancy, while National won’t commit to such a policy and wants to make it harder for unions to negotiate, it’s pretty clear which party is really looking out for workers who lose their jobs.
The media frenzy over these assistance packages is a side-show in comparison.
[*This means a redundancy formula of four weeks' pay on signing up and two weeks for every year of service.]