PM announces $130 billion “Job Keeper” package
The “job keeper” payment will be a flat $1500 payment each fortnight to keep Australians connected to their employers, and treats all Australians in work equally, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
The aim of the package is to enable businesses to keep their workers on their payrolls through the coronavirus pandemic, and is applicable to full and part time workers, sole traders, and casuals.
Businesses and not-for-profits will be eligible if they experience a downturn in revenue of 30 per cent or more.
“Our plan will see our businesses large and small right across our entire economy share the load with our welfare system to deliver these important income supports,” said PM Scott Morrison.
The payments would be made to employers through the tax office, which would use data on the number of employees through the Single Touch Payroll system. Mr Morrison said the payment was to keep workers on at work, and out of Centrelink queues.
‘Best chance to keep jobs’
Also speaking to the media on Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that this package will give working Australians the “best chance to keep their jobs”.
“It will be available to full and part time workers, sole traders, and in the case of casuals to those who have been with their employer for 12 months or more.
“From today, employers and sole traders will be able to apply to the Australian Tax Office. The payments will flow from the first week of May and be backdated to today,” the Treasurer said, adding that the scheme also applies to New Zealanders on 444 visas.
He explained that if employees have been stood down by their employer since March 1, they are still eligible for these payments.
The Treasurer opined that Australia’s wage subsidy scheme is unlike those of other nations.
“It is more generous to New Zealand’s scheme, it is broader than the United Kingdom’s scheme. Our scheme is uniquely Australian, with every eligible employee receiving the same wage subsidy.
“When the economy comes back, these businesses will be able to start again and their workforce will be ready to go because they will remain attached to the business through our Job Keeper payment.”
“This unprecedented level of support reflects the unprecedented moment that we are in. The announcement today is the means by which Australians can get to the other side of this coronavirus crisis,” the Treasurer concluded.
Parliament will need to be recalled to pass the legislation for the package, Mr Morrison said, but the date is yet to be confirmed.
Further details are available through Treasury’s website https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employers_0.pdf and initially employers can register their interest in applying for Job Keeper payments via https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/ from 30 March.
Further information will be shared as it becomes available however should you require any assistance in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our office on 08 9321 2111.