JobKeeper program WILL be extended beyond September deadline but businesses are warned it could send them broke – here’s what it means for you
- The JobKeeper program will be extended beyond its September cut off date
- Businesses are warned they could go broke while on the government incentive
- JobKeeper’s overhaul will be announced by the treasurer on Thursday July 23
The JobKeeper program will be extended past its September cut off date but businesses are warned the incentive could send them broke.
Workers who have been kept on the books to receive the $1,500 per fortnight payment continue to accrue annual leave, among other entitlements.
But if a business is forced to let their employees go, they will be required to foot the bill of the owed leave and entitlements.
JobKeeper’s new assessment criteria will be announced next Thursday, as the federal government shares their first economic update since December, AFR reported.
The JobKeeper program will be extended past its September deadline. Pictured: A woman in a face mask waits in line at a Centrelink office in Bondi Junction, Sydney
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia chief executive Peter Strong warned the accumulation of entitlements is ‘a huge issue”.
‘It’s been a good scheme because it’s meant keeping more people on,” he told the publication.
‘But many are accruing a debt that they can’t pay because they haven’t got the income coming in.’
Mr Strong said some businesses could be better off by closing through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and reopening when the situation improves.
‘Don’t put your business at risk because that means everybody loses their job and you lose your home,’ he said.
Reports suggest the flat $1500-fortnightly JobKeeper payment could be dropped to different rates of pay, while eligibility assessment could be ongoing.
Pictured: Australians line outside a Centrelink office during the coronavirus pandemic
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will outline the next phase of coronavirus support measures in an economic update on July 23.
The official unemployment rate is expected to rise from 7.1 per cent when June’s labour force figures are released on Thursday.
Mr Frydenberg said the effective unemployment rate, after people working zero hours and those who had dropped out of the labour force were taken into account, was around 13.3 per cent.
The number of people with jobs but not working paid hours has fallen steadily to 2.8 per cent of Australians aged over 18 by the end of June, the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.
This was down from a peak of 7.6 per cent in early April, just after the harshest lockdown restrictions were put in place nationally.
A bartender is seen pouring a beer at the Glenferrie Pub in Melbourne during the coronavirus pandemic
The proportion of people who had a job was steady at 61 per cent throughout June.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said the economy needs to be opened up, businesses need to invest and governments will need to stimulate through infrastructure spending, tax cuts and the extension of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker arrangements.
She is also against the closing of borders to try and contain the virus.
‘The one extreme measure to the other, stop-start, is going to sap confidence, it’s going to cost jobs, that’s the last thing we should be doing,’ she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.
‘We cannot eliminate this (virus) without a vaccine, we are a long way from that, we have to live with it therefore we have to get the systems right to manage these local outbreaks,’ she said.
Ms Westacott was encouraged the Morrison government has promised the coronavirus welfare measures of JobKeeper and an extended JobSeeker payment would taper off rather than be cut off in September.
Pictured: A fast food counter is seen empty of customers during lunch trade in Sydney’s Chinatown district