“Labour’s decision to double sick leave shows it is using Covid-19 as an excuse to advance a left-wing agenda and help its union mates,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“So far, only 2,000 people in New Zealand have had Covid-19. Labour believes that giving 2.7 million workers five days off is the way to help a handful of people who actually need 14 days off.

“Maybe Labour knows this idea won't help fight Covid-19, but will do anything to advance a left-wing agenda.

“We can only assume this legislation is being driven by the unions who back Labour.

“Small businesses can’t afford five extra days of sick leave on top of one the highest minimum wages in the world, a new public holiday, ‘fair pay’ agreements and all of the other costs Labour is adding.

“New Zealand is in recession, and the recovery will be long and fragile, but Labour keeps piling on new costs and red tape.

“Labour has a responsibility to support businesses to recover, not kick them while they’re down.

“For a recovery to happen, one New Zealander has to decide to employ another, hundreds of thousands of times over in the coming years. This legislation tips the scales away from recovery.

“Labour doesn’t understand small business. ACT’s caucus has seven business owners and we have a real plan to help the economy recover.

“We would put a three-year moratorium on raising the minimum wage, reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses, and cut GST to 10 percent for 12 months.”