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Coleman: Claims On RSE Scheme Wrong

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jonathan Coleman
Jonathan Coleman

4 June 2009 - "Claims that changes to the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to allow employers to make deductions below the minimum wage amount to exploitation are just plain wrong," says Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

"The CTU and Labour Party need to look at the facts here. The changes to policy for deductions from RSE workers' wages bring them into line with the rules that already exist for Kiwi workers.

"RSE workers need to make payments for accommodation and advances they receive. This needs to be done by agreed and upfront deductions from their wages. In the past, automatic payments were often set up instead - these payments were not transparent.

"Under the new system, the Department of Labour will require all deductions to be declared by the employer as part of their application to recruit RSE workers. This will ensure that deductions meet legal minimum standards, and that workers are aware of the deductions that will be made before accepting employment. Employers will also be subject to audit by dedicated labour inspectors.

"This works for all concerned- the workers are assured up front that deductions are fair, and there is less administrative hassle for businesses- it's a win-win situation.

"The CTU and Labour Party need to look more carefully at what these policy amendments actually mean and take a practical rather than ideological position," say Dr Coleman.

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