'Let's be kind and compassionate'

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner has called for all Kiwi employees to be treated in good faith

'Let's be kind and compassionate'

The approach taken by several employers in making workers redundant this past week has been the catalyst for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner to express her concern to employers.

Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo said it is “disheartening” to hear the daily news of workers being made redundant, sometimes with very little notice.

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“I call on all our business leaders to remember that your staff and the tax-payer have been and remain on this difficult journey with you. This is our team of 5 million!”

Saunoamaali’i added that for leaders who are making tough calls it is important to ensure Kiwis are treated in good faith, with dignity, respect, and when absolutely necessary, provide them time to prepare themselves and their families for the crisis of a job and income loss.

“Now more than ever, we must ensure our workers feel valued, as it is their talent and loyalty that our businesses and country need now and in future to rebuild our economy and collective prosperity.”

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Moreover, Saunoamaali’i said that young people and students were among the many who had lost their jobs or prospects of a job upon graduating due to the pandemic.

“Our young people, graduates, and international students are also struggling like many ordinary Kiwis out there,” said Saunoamaali’i.

“Their jobs are usually the first to go as employers begin to tighten their purse-strings.”

Young people rely on training, apprenticeships, and flexible working arrangements in an already difficult and fraught labour market, according to Saunoamaali’i.

“Being open-minded and flexible employers will ensure those who are already disadvantaged, especially disabled young people, Māori and Pacific, and those with mental health challenges have access to employment opportunities.”

“Let’s be kind and compassionate, as we all work together to rebuild our economy and communities.”

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