Government announces new $1,500 payment for employees

Yesterday, the Australian Government announced a new $130 billion wage subsidy plan which will give businesses money to help pay their staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The JobKeeper Payment will provide workers with $1,500 per fortnight, and it’s estimated that it will be received by more than 6 million Australians over the next six months.

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Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The Australian Government has announced a new wage subsidy plan which will see eligible employees receiving $1,500 per week during the coronavirus crisis.

To be eligible, businesses with a turnover of less than $1 billion will need to report at least a 30% loss of income, and those with a turnover of more than $1 billion will need to report a 50% loss.

The payment will be made directly to employers who will then pass it onto their employees. That way, businesses who would have been forced to lose staff during the pandemic can afford to keep them on. Businesses will also receive the payment for anyone still working.

Those eligible for the payment include full and part-time workers, sole traders, and casuals who have worked for their employer for more than 12 months.

The payments won’t begin until May but they will be backdated to March 1, so anyone who has lost their job in recent weeks is eligible. The same applies to anyone subsequently rehired by their employer.

The payment represents about 70% of the median wage and is about $400 a fortnight more than the JobSeeker payment. A person cannot receive both payments, and anyone wishing to change to the JobKeeper payment can simply withdraw from JobSeeker.

Speaking on the payment, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described: “It represents 100% of the median wage of those sectors most heavily impacted by the coronavirus like retail, like hospitality and tourism.”

“The payment will give working Australians their best chance of keeping their job and keeping them connected to their employers so they can bounce back in the recovery phase,” he continued.

For more information, head here.