A few days ago, several media outlets released the news on a $130 billion support package to cope with crisis that Australian government has prepared in times of a global pandemic. We can all agree that we need good news these days, and this one has certainly brought a breath of fresh air, at least for those who need help the most. It is also a nice addition to the relief measures we read about earlier.
What Does the Support Package Entail?
The mentioned support has already gained the nickname – the “Jobkeeper allowance”, which describes it perfectly. Namely, the $130 billion support package will be distributed to companies as a help in times of global crisis.
It has been planed that these funds support the businesses for the following 6 months. The purpose is to preserve the jobs and help employers keep their employees in times when businesses are suffering.
Government will give away $1,500 per employee per two weeks period, during the span of the mentioned 6 months.
Who Is Eligible?
There has been much talk about who would be eligible to receive these funds. When it comes to individuals, apparently, all full-time workers, as well as casual workers and sole traders will be eligible to receive the “Jobkeeper allowance”.
The Australian government has also reportedly announced that New Zealand citizens, living in Australia on the basis of 444 Visa will also be eligible for these funds.
What Are the Conditions for Companies to Participate?
Naturally, not all companies can apply. In order to participate, the companies will need to prove that their revenue has decreased for at least 30%. Similar, but more strict condition will be imposed on companies that earn more than $1 billion a year. These companies will have to prove the drop in revenue of at least 50%.
Australian PM, Scot Morrison, reportedly 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.”
When Can We Expect the Funds to be Released?
The Government in Australia has obviously done its bets to keep things on the right track and moving on as soon as possible. Therefore, the announced package should be released at the beginning of May.
It is important to say that the funds will be paid retro-actively, to cover the period from the beginning of the crisis. Employees should be protected by one more important step. Namely, the employers would need to keep the workers on their books in order to distribute the funds.
How Will the Funds Be Allocated?
We have already stated above that the government has determined the sum of $1,500 per employee, per two weeks. However, employers are welcome to add extra money to this flat rate. Nevertheless, they are not obliged to do it.
Interestingly, all employees will receive the same amount of money, regardless of their job position, or type of industry they are working in. This is possibly, the most important message this project will convey: in the end, we are all the same.
Or, as the Mr. Scott Morrison has reportedly put it:
“If one person falls on a hard time, if anyone falls on a hard time, it is the same hard time. We are all in this together. That is what is fair. That is what is Australian.”