Mediation Services Over-Loaded

09 October 2020

Most of the complaints logged with MBIE relate to the Government’s wage subsidy.

That’s hardly surprising because, given the grim economic outlook towards the end of March, the Government needed to quickly get financial support in place to save jobs.  In the beginning the rules were brief and understandable.  However, as more people became involved in the process, the rules got more complicated as the detail rapidly expanded with each iteration of the subsidy.

Regrettably, many employees believe they've been wronged by their employer, often because they’ve been poorly advised by media commentators, unions or other advisers trying to capitalise on the situation.

There is no justification for implying employers are out to rort the system.  The vast majority made every endeavour to do the right thing under very difficult circumstances.  Many invested heavily in legal advice to get an informed view of their rights and obligations.

There is no merit to subjecting employers or employees to long delays to have these issues resolved.  The first significant court case on some of the issues is set down for early December, so it will be some time before any clear precedents are set.

The Government could help by using the available knowledge and issuing some succinct answers to the essential questions. That may still leave some issues to be resolved, but it should significantly reduce the number of claims.