Thousands of beneficiaries will be managed into work by private employment agencies in a new nationwide pilot programme some are labelling “sinister”.
The Ministry of Social Development has been seeking tenders from community and private employment agencies to put beneficiaries into paid work.
Annually, 2000 beneficiaries will be involved nationwide and the agencies will earn up to $12,000 for placing a client into a job.
They will earn more for placing higher classified patients, such as those with “entrenched mental health issues” and those with serious barriers preventing them returning to work.
Overseas, similar welfare-to-work programmes have been criticised as ineffective and costly. Some groups are worried the same thing could happen here, and that there’ll be too much focus on “bonus payments”.
But Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the Government was willing to pay more to help those who are likely to find it harder to get into work and be independent.
This is what Labour and allies are calling sinister?