Anthony Albanese Fair Work Exemptions

With JobKeeper 2.0 beginning on September 28, there are changes which will affect your business if you are employing staff both with and without JobKeeper eligibility, particularly in relation to Fair Work exemptions.

The government will be removing those companies off JobKeeper 2.0 if they have made profit in the September quarter 2020. And now exemptions from Fair Work Act awarded to those businesses under JobKeepr 1.0 giving them the ability reduce a workers’ hours to as low as zero and to alter their duties, all without breaching the Fair Work Act will be taken away as well.

Given the volatility of the virus and its huge impact on Australian businesses, the government was not too voluble about taking those exemptions away.

According to Labor’s Shadow minister for Industrial Relations Tony Burke it was “ridiculous” the government ever contemplated giving the FWA exemptions to businesses which had recovered.

At the moment – Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg are in negotiations with the Opposition to get the legislation through the parliament on their already announced – revised down – JobKeeper 2.0 which will reduce the rates of payment for both the JobKeeper 2.0 and the JobSeeker 2.0.

Under the JobKeeper 2.0 – for full time employees the fortnightly payments will first reduce to $1200/fortnight for October – December 2020 period and then to $1000/fortnight for January – March 2020.

And for employees working less than 20 hours in a week, the payments will reduce to $750 and $650 for the same corresponding periods respectively.

Payment for those on JobSeeker 2.0, will be $1115/fortnight – made up of $815/fortnight plus a Supplement for Coronavirus of $300/fortnight.

Labor – in exchange for their vote to pass the legislation through the parliament – is asking the government to not reduce the fortnightly payments.

The government on the other hand is offering to take away Fair Work Act exemptions from the employers and allow only to those businesses who have suffered at least 10 per cent loss of their turn over in the September 2020 quarter.

Thus, if the government is successful to have the legislation through the parliament, companies not eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 – because they have started to recover, will need to show a 10 per cent reduction in turnover to remain eligible for Fair Work Act exemptions.

But the exemptions allowed to such businesses will not be as generous as those granted to employers who will remain eligible for JobKeeper 2.0.

Labor wants limitations on employers who lose their JobKeeper eligibility, when it came to reducing hours worked by their employees.

Stay tuned.

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