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Nine-day fortnight job scheme expanded
Apr '09
The nine-day fortnight job support scheme has been expanded by the government to include businesses with 50 to 100 workers. This scheme has been introduced after the jobs summit held in the month of February.

At the beginning, the scheme was applied to the businesses with more than 100 workers but it hadn't met with success. Altogether three big companies have signed up for the scheme, in the process, saving 117 jobs and another 60 companies are about to join the scheme.

Expansion of the scheme will include another 2000 firms into it along with 140,000 workers.

Experts informed that, following the discussions with employers and union since February's jobs summit, the scheme had been expanded as it has been realized that the businesses with 50-100 were also experiencing hard times.

Businesses having less than 50 employees would not be included into this scheme because this scheme is quite difficult to manage for small workplaces. Work is being done on the measures to help small firms and the announcements regarding that would be done further.

Under the scheme, the government pays $12.50 an hour per worker, for up to five hours a fortnight.

The scheme is mainly aimed at the businesses those are facing unfavorable conditions temporarily during current economic climate. The temporary reduction in hours helps employers to ride out adverse conditions and gives job security to the workers as well.

The experts said that the expansion of the scheme will not prove to be beneficial for every company but it can ease the payroll pressure on the firms affected by the financial meltdown.

Whereas, the Labour Party leader Phil Goff said that the scheme would not work for the thousands of people who were worried about their jobs. He further said that more than 90 percent of the businesses and 60 percent of the workforce are still ineligible for the scheme.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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