Part-time workers will lose up to half their benefits in late September when JobKeeper is reduced from $1500 a fortnight to $750 per fortnight. Sadly this decision will impact on far more women than men. The one positive out of this decision is that JobKeeper will continue until March 2021. The government has realised that this extremely difficult employment situation must continue longer than anticipated.

 In Melbourne, for example, 10.7% of men work up to 20 hours a week while women make up 21.7% of the casual workforce. This has increased the scheme from $70billion to $86 billion and will help keep 700,000 people out of the dole queues.

Full-time workers will have payments reduced to $1,200 from late September until the end of 2020 when the payment will be reduced to $1000 until March.

There is an argument to maintain the $1500 JobKeeper payments in order to support the economic recovery, but government has responded to this argument, stating that many workers have actually earned more under JobKeeper than before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Treasury’s review of JobKeeper showed that the greatest beneficiaries of the JobKeeper payment were young, part-time, and casual workers, in particular those under 25 years of age and disproportionally women.

The ABS surveyed 1000 people in June 2020 and found of those receiving JobKeeper, 50% were paid less than their normal income, 30% were on a similar wage, and 20% were receiving more. That inevitably has an impact on the economy. Many people have simply stopped spending other than on essential items. While there will be record spending on measures to help workers during the pandemic the jobless rate will rise to 9.25%.

In the December quarter economists have already warned that women will suffer the most in losing jobs during this downturn.

This article has been prepared by WR Law for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Please contact WR Law directly for legal advice regarding your specific circumstances

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Ref: Jennifer Duke