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Government Admits JobKeeper Won’t Save Workers From The Sack

Government admits JobKeeper won’t save workers from the sack

The federal government has admitted JobKeeper won’t save workers from the sack when the payments stop.

The aim of the wage subsidy is to save jobs during the coronavirus crisis by helping employers keep staff ‘on the books’.

However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg admits there is no penalty for employers who get rid of workers when the payments stop.

Government admits JobKeeper won’t save workers 

The $1,500 subsidy is paid to employers to help offset the cost of wages during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Broadcaster Ray Hadley slammed the Treasurer over the loophole, and described the practice as “un-Australian”. 

Hadley told the Treasurer he believed that companies signed-up to JobKeeper had committed to keeping their staff.

“Are you now saying that’s not the case?,” Hadley asked.

“We’ve never said that’s the case,” Frydenberg responded.

“What their obligation is to the government, if they receive the JobKeeper payment, is that they have made that payment to their staff member.

“That’s always been the clear case.

“If they make a staff member redundant, then they need to meet their obligations to those staff as you would expect them to do under the Fair Work Act.”

Companies cannot pocket cash

However, Frydenberg pointed out companies that sack workers cannot pocket the JobKeeper cash.

“Any company big or small, if they have received a JobKeeper payment on behalf of their employees, they need to have paid those employees that $1,500 a fortnight amount,” he said.

“If they have made people redundant they are not entitled to get further payments from the government.”

Treasurer urges companies not to sack workers

The Treasurer then urged companies not to sack workers.

“Everyone of these companies needs to explain why they are not keeping their staff in a job,” he said.

“Businesses right around the country should be endeavouring to keep staff on, if they are eligible under JobKeeper.

“I cannot see why a business would seek to make someone redundant who was eligible under JobKeeper.

“Businesses should not be using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to downsize their workforce.”

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