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Thousands of Australian workers are told they’re NOT eligible for $1500 JobKeeper payment

Thousands of Australian workers are left shattered as they’re told they are NOT eligible for the $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payment because the government has changed the rules

  • Federal Government changed eligibility for $130 billion Jobkeeper pay on May 1
  • Employees at companies owned by foreign governments are not eligible
  • More than 4,500 workers have been impacted at catering company Dnata
  • Employees say it is a ‘kick in the guts’  after advice they were eligible 

Australian workers at foreign-owned companies will miss out on the Federal Government’s Jobkeeper allowance after a last minute change to eligibility requirements.

The government changed the definition of ‘sovereign entity’ in the JobKeeper rules on May 1 to exclude companies owned 100 per cent by foreign governments. 

Dnata, which supplies frozen meals to businesses like Qantas, received the news they were no longer eligible for the $1500 a fortnight payment in an email from management on Monday. 

The company, which has 5,500 workers across Australia, falls into this category as it is owned by the government of Dubai.  

5,500 workers at Dnata, which supplies frozen meals to businesses like Qantas received the news they were no longer eligible for the $1500/fortnight payment in an email from management on Monday

The company stood down 4,000 employees on March 30 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the shutdown of the commercial aviation industry, news.com.au reported.

Workers were originally told they’d be covered by the Jobkeeper payments but the retroactive change to legislation has left workers scrambling to find ways to supplement their income.

The company said they had kept their employees on the books under advice from the Australian Taxation Office that workers would be eligible.

Workers were told via email on Monday they would not be receiving payments though the government's JobKeeper program

Workers were told via email on Monday they would not be receiving payments though the government’s JobKeeper program

‘Dnata enrolled for the scheme and implemented plans for the retention and payment of our Australian employees on this basis,’ a Dnata spokeswoman said.

The company believes the changes are unreasonable because it employs a large number of local workers and is an Australian resident company for income tax purposes. 

The business has also invested $300million over the past 13 years on job creation, infrastructure and technologies, including the $150million takeover of Qantas’s catering business.  

Meanwhile, struggling workers have described the move as a ‘kick in the guts’. 

The company has also invested $300 million over the past 13 years on job creation, infrastructure and technologies including the $150 million takeover of Qantas's catering business (PICTURED: Qantas jets are grounded at the Sydney airport due to COVID-19)

The company has also invested $300 million over the past 13 years on job creation, infrastructure and technologies including the $150 million takeover of Qantas’s catering business (PICTURED: Qantas jets are grounded at the Sydney airport due to COVID-19)

The Department of Treasury told news.com.au government employers were better positioned to support their staff during the financial downturns. 

‘Government employers are considered to have a greater capacity to support their employees through this period than private businesses,’ the spokeswoman said. 

The Australian Services Union said it was fighting to overturn the changes to protect the wages of the customer service, cargo and ramp employees of Dnata.

‘This announcement will come as a complete shock and no doubt will be extremely concerning and upsetting for you,’ The ASU wrote in a statement.

‘Please rest assured that the ASU will do everything within its power to attempt to get this outrageous narrow minded decision changed so that you get the support that you deserve. 

The airline workers union has written to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) urging him to fix the 'loophole' and provide support for workers in the commercial aviation industry

The airline workers union has written to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) urging him to fix the ‘loophole’ and provide support for workers in the commercial aviation industry

‘Scott Morrison took JobKeeper away from you with the stroke of a pen and we will be demanding that he fix the problem that he has created,’the ASU wrote.

The airline worker’s union has written to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urging him to fix the ‘loophole’ and provide support for workers in the commercial aviation industry.

The $130billion wage subsidy scheme was introduced to enable businesses to keep their employees on the books during the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19 shutdown. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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