Australian Government Will Pay Businesses To Keep Employees Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
The Australian government will pay businesses to keep staff onboard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the unprecedented measure is designed to prevent loads of people from being unemployed with no income flowing in.
Mr Morrison said during a press conference: "Today I announce that we are committing $130 billion over the next six months to support the jobs and livelihoods of what we anticipate will be six million Australians who will need that lifeline in the months ahead."
Eligible people will get access to a $1,500-a-fortnight payment called the JobKeeper allowance 'to keep Australians in jobs even when the work dries up'.
"We will pay employers to keep paying their employees, and make sure they do," Mr Morrison continued.
"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.
"Our JobKeeper plan sees every Australian worker the same way, no matter what you earn. There is not more support for some as there is for others.
"If one person falls on a hard time, if anyone falls on a hard time, it's the same hard time. We're all in this together.
"With this plan now, it is time to draw together again. It is time to chart our way through together, these businesses with their employees, staying together, looking ahead, working and building towards the other side so they can create a new future on the other side of this."
It will apply to sole traders as well as part-time and full-time staff. Casual staff will also be able to access the payment if they've been with their employer for longer than 12 months.
The payment is designed for businesses who want to keep employees on the books without having to fire them outright.
People who have been let go are encouraged to call their employer to see if the business is going to apply for the JobKeeper program.
The payment will not apply to anyone who was let go from their job before March 1.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says added: "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.
"If employees have been stood down by their employer since March 1, they are still eligible for these payments.
"To be eligible, their payments will need to have fallen by 30 per cent or more.
"Our wage subsidy scheme for Australia 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.
"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."