Changes to the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program have been welcomed by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), with the association saying the amendments will help keep more workers gainfully employed in Australia’s hotels.
Originally applying to workers who had been with their employer for 12 months as at March 2020, the key amendments includes modifying the date of employment to 1 July 2020, opening up eligibility to new workers who had joined their place of employment in the intervening period.
TAA National CEO, Michael Johnson, said the organisation has continued to make the case to Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, that changes were needed to the scheme to ensure more businesses would be eligible.
“The recent changes will increase the number of businesses which can access the scheme and keep their workforce engaged.
“These are reasonably minor adjustments that will deliver major benefits and we commend the Federal Government for their ongoing agility in responding to COVID-19.
Businesses seeking to claim for the December quarter must now prove a decline in actual GST turnover rather than projected levels, with the payment rate being slightly reduced to a maximum of $1,200 per employee per fortnight. Further assessments will be required for ongoing claims for the March 2021 quarter, with the program due to end on 28 March 2021.
“We know that Australia’s accommodation industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors as a result of the pandemic and the next few months remain highly precarious,” Johnson added.
“We will continue to work cooperatively and collaboratively with Government to secure outcomes that keep hotels afloat and workers in gainful employment during this unprecedented crisis.”