Social Unemployment Insurance: A case (more or less) in favour


  • Grant Duncan Massey University



social insurance, accident compensation, redundancy, employment, inequality, welfare


Budget 2021 announced a social unemployment insurance (SUI) system, to be developed in partnership with BusinessNZ and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and modelled on the accident compensation (ACC) scheme. This new policy addresses the needs of workers involuntarily laid off as industries restructure and seek new skills. This article considers concerns raised about the SUI proposal, drawing comparisons with the ACC experience. While SUI would perpetuate market income inequalities and may not do much to prevent poverty, it could also reduce other sources of inconsistency and disadvantage.


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Author Biography

Grant Duncan, Massey University

Grant Duncan is an associate professor in political theory and New Zealand politics at Massey University, Auckland. His recent books are on the themes of political trust and the history of government.