National

Wage subsidy plan for millions of workers

By AAP Newswire

HOW DOES THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT WORK?

* Businesses will receive $1500 every fortnight for all employees over six months

* Employers will be legally obligated to pass the money on to their workers

* The tax office will administer the payments, which are worth $130 billion

* The scheme is designed to maintain links between bosses and workers during the coronavirus pandemic

* An estimated six million jobs could be saved

* Changes to the Fair Work Act will allow employers to reduce people's pay to $1500 a fortnight, provided hours are adjusted accordingly

* The Fair Work Commission will be able to resolve disputes.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

* All full-time and part-time employees, along with casuals with a one-year link to their employer

* Sole traders and New Zealanders on 444 working visas are also included

* Businesses with at least a 30 per cent hit to turnover because of coronavirus

* If a company's turnover is more than $1 billion, a 50 per cent downturn is required

* Charities with a 15 per cent drop in turnover will be included

* Workers who normally earn less than $1500 a fortnight will still receive the full subsidy.

WHAT HAPPENED IN PARLIAMENT?

* A scaled-down group of MPs and senators backed the JobKeeper scheme, with a series of bills passing both chambers of parliament on Wednesday

* Labor tried to change the package to include temporary migrant workers and casuals not covered

* But the amendments failed in the lower house, prompting Labor to accept the bills as they were presented

* Greens and Centre Alliance centre tried to make changes to help charities, migrants and casuals but Labor voted against them after promising not to create a deadlock