JobKeeper: $1,500 fortnightly payments announced to keep Australians employed


The Prime Minister has today announced the government will subsidise the pay packets of Australian employees to keep them in work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new $130 billion stimulus package will mean businesses will be paid up to $1,500 a fortnight for each employee, as part of a “JobKeeper allowance”.

The payments will start to be issued from 1 May and will be backdated to today, 30 March.

JobKeeper explained: Are you eligible?

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said the package is to support the jobs and livelihoods of an anticipated six million Australia who will need that lifeline over the next six months.

“We will pay employers to pay their employees and make sure they do, to keep them in the businesses that employ them and to ensure they can get ready together to bounce back on the other side,” he said.

"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,” the Prime Minister said.

The JobKeeper package will be available to full and part-time workers, sole traders, and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. The payments will also apply to not-for-profit entities and to workers from New Zealand on 444 visas.

For businesses to be eligible they need to have seen a 30 per cent drop in turnover, for smaller businesses or a 50 per cent for large businesses.

If employees have been stood down by their employer since 1 March, they are still eligible for these payments.

These measures will be delivered through the Australian Taxation Office so as to continue using existing infrastructure rather than create a new mechanism.

Changes to the partner pay income test for people on the JobSeeker payment, formally Newstart, were also announced today meaning the partner of those receiving benefits are now permitted to earn up to $79,762 - up from $48,000 - a year before the unemployed partner loses eligibility for assistance.

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