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Federal Parliament set to pass JobKeeper subsidy

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Federal Parliament is set to pass the Morrison Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy today after the meeting between IR Minister Christian Porter and ACTU secretary Sally McManus.

Porter and McManus have reached an in-principle agreement on changes to the Fair Work Act for a six-month period.  These changes will allow employers to pay workers the minimum $1,500 a fortnight without breaching awards or enterprise agreements. 

Porter said changes to the Fair Work Act will provide a “secondary requirement about the viability of the business, and the necessity to give a direction around hours worked to save the job of the employee in question.”

The FWC will be empowered to hear disputes about the scheme.  He stated “That decision will be reviewable by the Fair Work Commission, so that there will be safeguards in the process of trying to make the hours match the $1500 payments if the business is in so much distress that that’s all it can afford to do, and remain viable in the circumstances.”

Porter has refused to change the decision on short-term casuals’ ineligibility for the scheme.

The Government have revised guidelines for the JobKeeper scheme lowering the turnover downturn threshold for registered charities and not-for-profit enterprises to 15%, and provide the ATO with discretion when determining the threshold for eligibility due to a revenue fall of between 30% to 50% depending on the size of the business.

At this point both the unions and Labor have indicated they will support the legislation wage subsidy scheme.

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This article has been prepared by Vanessa Baglieri, Marketing Manager. We are passionate about helping businesses grow by sharing information. The content of this article is legal information, not advice and is not tailored to your circumstances, speak with Rosa Raco directly on 03 5499 6131 or email rraco@wrlaw.com.au if you require legal advice regarding your specific circumstances.

This article is current as at 10.10am 8th April 2020.