ACTU win for wage subsidies

03-Apr-2020

We are all concerned about family and friends who have been stood down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACTU win earlier this week will go a long way to begin the alleviation of that worry.

The Federal Government estimates at least a million people could be made unemployed as the economic strain begins to hit home. The quick action and forward thinking of the ACTU in keeping the Government responsible has resulted in a ‘wage subsidy program’ (JobKeeper) that payment helps businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so more Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income.

Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent; or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover has fallen by more than 50 percent; and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Employees will be notified by their employer if they intend to claim the fortnightly payment of $1,500 on their behalf.

While the ACTU applauds the step in the right direction from the Government, Sally McManus had this to say:

‘We are concerned that the $1,500 a fortnight subsidy may not be enough. We believe that allowing this amount to increase up to the median wage of $1,375 a week is what is needed.

We also want to ensure all casuals who could have reasonably expected to work now but have lost their jobs because of the pandemic are covered. Many of these workers may not have worked the last 12 months. We also want to ensure that this subsidy applies to the 1.4million visa workers who were working, there is no reason why it should not.’

Click here to read the media release in full.