The wage subsidy that supported millions of Australian workers during the past year ended on March 28. Here’s how it will affect you, plus what options you have going forward.
The Federal Government’s Jobkeeper scheme was introduced in March 2020 in order to support Australian workers who had their income affected by the pandemic. It was meant to end in September last year before it was extended for an extra six months at a reduced rate, and now the scheme has ended.
This means that your employer, and therefore you, will no longer receive the $1000 fortnightly payment for full-time and $650 fortnightly payment for part-time employees. The cut-off is expected to have a significant effect on Australian workers. Treasury estimates that between 100,000 and 150,000 people will lose their jobs as a result of the subsidy ending. If the changes affect you, there’s a fair chance you will have already heard about it from your manager, but it’s a good idea to bring it up with them as soon as possible.
Exactly how the Jobkeeper subsidy’s cut-off will affect businesses remains to be seen, but there are concerns the economy won’t bounce back in line with the scheme ending. If you’re one of the thousands of Australians impacted by the changes this week, you still have a few options.
Applying for Jobseeker payments is your best bet, but there are some changes to this scheme coming into effect from April 1. Jobseekers applicants will earn $620.80 a fortnight if they’re single. People with partners can expect $565.40, while single people with children and those over the age of 60 receive $667.50. Single principal carers receive $850.20.
In order to receive Jobseeker payments, you’ll need to prove you’re actively looking for work by applying for 15 jobs a month. From July, this number will increase to 20. You can check if you’re eligible to receive Jobseeker payments here.
While a significant amount of workers are expected to lose their jobs with Jobkeeper ending, the labour market has been steadily bouncing back – so it might not be the worst time to look for a job. According to government data, job advertisements increased by seven per cent in February, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.3 to 5.8 per cent.
Photography: Brook James