Govt expands Flexi-wage subsidy scheme

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook.

The government has announced an expansion to the Flexi-wage scheme, with applications accepted from next week.

The changes increase the average amount a business can access to hire a worker, and scale up the number of out-of-work New Zealanders the scheme will reach.

Firms can now receive an average of $7500 per employee, depending on individual circumstances.

The government says the changes will support up to 40,000 more New Zealanders into work.

"Flexi-wage is an important plank of our economic recovery plan," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says in a statement.

"The expansion of it is expected to help thousands more New Zealanders into employment."

The announcement includes a ringfenced $30 million self-employment component, and covers increased support through training and mentoring for those out of work wishing to start their own business.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD), which leads the programme, will begin taking applications for the expanded programme on Monday.

Through the existing scheme, 40,167 Flexi-wage subsidies were approved between July 1 2014 and June 20 2020.

Flexi-wage is also available to help with training or in-work support that a person may need to do that job, as long as the job continues after the scheme has finished.

"The Flexi-wage expansion gives employers confidence to take on and train people, knowing the person will be supported until they're equipped and ready to meet the requirements of the job," Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni says.


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