Wellbeing Budget 2021

Our Recovery

Social Unemployment Insurance

As we rebuild the economy, we also have an opportunity to design better support for New Zealanders who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

A job loss is a significant income shock. Finding a job takes time, and many workers may accept lower-paid jobs that don't match their skillsets, because financial pressures mean they need work quickly.

The Government, BusinessNZ and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions have committed to jointly designing a Social Unemployment Insurance scheme that would support workers who lose their jobs, in line with a commitment in Labour's election manifesto.

Like Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) for accidents, a Social Unemployment Insurance scheme could cushion the impact of a job loss. It could give workers the financial stability to find the right job for their skills, or to retrain for a new, fulfilling career path. We're looking at a scheme that could provide those who lose their jobs with around 80 percent of their income, with minimum and maximum caps.

Over the coming months, the Social Insurance Tripartite Working Group will be consulting stakeholders on what the right settings could be, balancing the support needed for Kiwis to find quality new jobs against the costs of running the scheme. There will be wider public consultation later in 2021.

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