Older workers face unemployment crisis exacerbated by JobMaker, experts warn

Original article by Stephen Long
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Oct-20

Professor Marian Baird from the University of Sydney warns that the federal government’s JobMaker hiring credit scheme will encourage employers to ‘cherrypick’ younger unemployed people when recruiting new staff. She is also concerned that some employers will seek to replace older workers with people under the age of 35 in order to receive the subsidy. Professor Baird adds that the scheme could result in greater casualisation of the workforce, given that there is no obligation for people hired via the scheme to work for the same number of hours each week.

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UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

Pressure to extend wage plan to all ages

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 12-Oct-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the federal government will not agree to any concessions to get its JobMaker wage subsidy scheme through Parliament. Labor and the Senate crossbenchers have expressed concern that the scheme could be rorted and is too focused, given that it is only available to employers who hire people aged up to 35. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the JobMaker scheme leaves 928,000 older Australians "in the lurch", and says the existing incentive scheme for employing people aged 50+ has been a "monumental failure". Unions have warned that the government’s wage subsidy scheme for apprentices could also be exploited.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Morrison wins crossbench support for jobs plans

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20

Centre Alliance will back the federal government’s push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has signalled that he is also likely to side with the government, which would require only one more crossbench vote in the Senate. The industrial relations changes are linked to the government’s revised JobKeeper scheme. The bill will be put before parliament within days.

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CENTRE ALLIANCE, ONE NATION PARTY

JobKeeper could be expanded to deal with further coronavirus outbreaks

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 10-Aug-20

The JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is now expected to cost $101bn in total, after the federal government agreed to extend it beyond September at a lower rate. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has emphasised the need to gradually phase out government support, although he has not ruled out further extending the scheme beyond March if the pandemic worsens. Labor contends that the government needs a plan to boost employment rather than focusing on the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Thatcher claim fighting words to Labor, ACTU

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-Jul-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has backed a push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act for employers that will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme after September. He has urged Labor and the ACTU to support extending the emergency measures, which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has expressed concern that the federal government wants to adopt an industrial relation policy similar to that of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

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AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Frydenberg backs wider IR changes

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 24-Jul-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg identified industrial relations reform as a key priority for the federal government after releasing the economic update on 23 July. He will push for temporary changes to the Fair Work Act to be extended to include businesses that will no longer be eligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of September. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has backed the proposal, but ACTU president Michele O’Neil contends that the more flexible workplace arrangements should not be available to businesses that are no longer struggling.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU

Revamp will push 2.5m off JobKeeper

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Jul-20

The federal government’s revised JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme is expected to cost $16.6bn over six months. The new tiered JobKeeper scheme will feature two levels of payment based on the number of hours worked, rather than the existing fortnightly payment of $1,500 for all eligible workers. The lower JobKeeper payments will take effect from 28 September and will be further reduced from early January. Treasury has forecast that the number of people receiving JobKeeper will fall from 3.5 million at present to 1.4 million in the December quarter, and just one million in the March quarter.

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Labor likely to back extension of IR changes

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 15-Jul-20

Labor has given indications that it will support an extension of coronavirus-induced temporary changes to workplace laws that allow employers to reduce their employees’ hours of work and change their duties and location of work. However, this would be conditional on the JobKeeper scheme being extended in the federal government’s upcoming economic statement. Labor leader Anthony Albanese says the government should announce details of any changes to the JobKeeper program immediately.

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AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

JobKeeper could send firms broke

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 14-Jul-20

The federal government will announce details of its revised JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme on 23 July, when it will also release an economic update. Council of Small Business Organisations Australia CEO Peter Strong says JobKeeper has enabled employers to retain staff. However, he warns that many businesses will need to think carefully about signing up for the revised scheme, as employees on JobKeeper are accruing entitlements such as annual leave that will have to be paid out if they are laid off. These will have to be paid from cash reserves if the company is not making a profit.

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COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Labor demands coronavirus supports remain as figures show 13 jobseekers per vacancy

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 13-Jul-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed on 10 July that Labor was scaremongering over the future of the $70 billion JobKeeper program. He said he had made it clear that there would be a further stage of income support, and that it was "disgraceful" and "blatantly untrue" for Labor to claim the government was going to end the program in September. Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese responded to Morrison’s comments on 12 July by stating that businesses still had no certainty about whether the program will continue, while Labor says figures that reveal there are 13 jobseekers per job vacancy show that the government must keep COVID-19 income support programs in place beyond September.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY