JobKeeper changes announced

In a press conference held earlier today (21 July 2020), Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison has announced changes to the government initiative, JobKeeper.

“We have always been addressing this crisis as a … health crisis and [an] economic crisis. The COVID-19 recession … as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, and our national response to both of these challenges,” the PM is quoted as saying.

“On of the great challenges that all countries are facing in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recession that has been consequential to that, it has been that things change, and they change quickly, and there is always new information.

“And while you seek to give as much forward planning as you possibly can to help businesses and individuals, households, families, to be able to plan for their future, I think there is a genuine understanding in the community that this is a virus that will plot its own course, and it will wreak its own [havoc] where it choose to do so.”

The Prime Minister adds that JobKeeper has been “doing its job and will continue to do its job through the decision’s we’re announcing today”.

“Already just over $30 billion has been provided in support through the JobKeeper program to almost a million businesses … supporting some 3.5 million employees,” he says.

Main change to JobKeeper 

The main change announced to JobKeeper is that JobKeeper payments will be reduced to $1200 per fortnight for full-time employees (currently at $1500 per fortnight), and to $750 per fortnight for people working less than 20 hours a week.

The change will come into effect at the end of September 2020 and will be reportedly revised down again in March 2021 to $1000 per fortnight for full-time workers, and $650 per fortnight for those working part-time.

JobKeeper eligibility changes 

While previously the eligibility criteria for JobKeeper payments was businesses who expected to see a 30% reduction in turnover, from 28 September 2020, eligibility will reportedly be based on “whether businesses have shown a 30% reduction in turnover across the past two quarters, and into the next quarter”.

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