Queensland’s winners and losers in JobKeeper cut

 

JobKeeper payments will drop by $300 a fortnight for workers at 183,500 Queensland businesses, as the Federal Government resists calls to keep the payment going at its current rate.

But more businesses will be get to keep relaxed industrial relations rules, allowing them to vary a worker's hours, role or location even if they no longer qualify for the wage subsidy.

They will only have to prove their turnover has dropped 10 per cent, compared to the equivalent quarter last year.

Any business that tries using the relaxed rules without meeting the 10 per cent threshold will be slugged $66,600 and the boss up to $13,200 in fines.

 

The Morrison Government will reduce JobKeeper payments after September, but allow more businesses to claim relaxed industrial rules. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
The Morrison Government will reduce JobKeeper payments after September, but allow more businesses to claim relaxed industrial rules. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire

There are concerns the $1500-a-fortnight payment, which will drop to $1200 after September, is making it harder for employers to attract workers back to jobs.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said there was a "clear case" to keep JobKeeper at its current $1500 a fortnight rate.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the payment amount would be reduced as planned, saying "our absolute focus is on getting people back to work".

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said the flexibilities, which end after March, had let more businesses keep operating and staff employed.

"It is important that the flexibility which has allowed many businesses to survive the crisis to date, continue to be provided to businesses which are on the road to recovery but which haven't made it out yet," he said.

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said Labor would like at the legislation, but would not allow the pandemic to be used "as an excuse to undermine workers' pay and conditions".

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the industrial relations flexibility has kept businesses going through COVID. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Attorney-General Christian Porter says the industrial relations flexibility has kept businesses going through COVID. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Companies which lose JobKeeper, but keep the flexible working arrangements, will have to give their staff seven days notice of any changes to their role, hours or location.

They will not be able to cut their hours by more than 60 per cent of what it was prior to March, or give someone a shift of less than two hours.

They will also need a certificate from an independent financial service provider, like a tax agent, to prove their turnover has dropped at least 10 per cent, unless they have less than 15 employees.

The extension to both JobKeeper and JobSeeker need to get through Parliament this fortnight for the payments to continue beyond September, when the current scheme ends.

 

 

Originally published as Queensland's winners and losers in JobKeeper cut


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