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JobMaker passes Parliament with no changes

The government’s JobMaker hiring credit has passed Parliament, giving businesses access to up to $200 per week for each eligible employee.

JobMaker passes Parliament with no changes
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  • Staff Reporter
  • November 13, 2020
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The $4 billion JobMaker hiring credit sailed through Parliament this week, despite opposition from Labor and members of the crossbench who argued that the scheme is not ambitious enough and demanded it be made more transparent.

Labor was worried that businesses could fire or cut hours from current staff to qualify for JobMaker.

The government, however, rejected all amendments, deeming them unnecessary.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is a fixed amount of $200 per week for an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years and $100 per week for an eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years paid quarterly in arrears by the Australian Taxation Office. 

According to a statement issued by the Treasurer, it is aimed to help young people access job opportunities and reconnect them with the labour force as the economy recovers from the effects of the coronavirus.

To be eligible, the employee must have been receiving JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (Other) or Parenting Payment for at least one of the previous three months, assessed on the date of employment.

Employees also need to have worked for a minimum of 20 hours per week of paid work to be eligible, averaged over a quarter, and can only be eligible with one employer at a time.

As for the employers, it is only available to those who increase their headcount and payroll. The legislative framework also prohibits both employers and employees from entering into contrived schemes in order to gain access to or increase the amount payable. 

According to Treasurer Frydenberg, existing rights and safeguards for employees under the Fair Work Act will continue to apply, including protection from unfair dismissal and the full range of general protections.

"The JobMaker Hiring Credit will ensure hard-working Australians and businesses have the support to get back to work and is part of the government’s Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs, rebuild the economy and secure Australia’s future," the Treasurer said. 

The JobMaker hiring credit was the subject of a Senate committee, which approved the legislation on Friday despite many ongoing concerns.

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