Ai Group has welcomed the House of Representative’s passage of legislation which, when passed by the Senate, would give effect to a range of Federal Government responses to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy.
“Ai Group applauds the support given to these measures in the Parliament as well as by a wide cross-section of employer associations, unions and community groups,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association, said today.
“The JobKeeper Payment measure will be critical in the retention of employment and the continued payment of salary and wages over many parts of the economy. The Government deserves the highest praise for taking the initiative with this measure.
“Millions of employees and hundreds of thousands of employers will benefit from JobKeeper. Many employees who will be temporarily stood down will be supported and the wages of many employees who are still in employment (sometimes with reduced hours) will have their wages supported by JobKeeper.
“Not every business will be eligible. The measures are targeted towards the most highly stressed organisations. As a result not all employees will be eligible: if their employer is not eligible, the employees are not eligible.
“Ai Group has been active in making the Government aware of the concerns of businesses and we are very appreciative of the efforts that the Government has made to modify JobKeeper. We also acknowledge that further changes will be required as the scheme is put into practice and we welcome the scope to fine tune JobKeeper over the weeks ahead.
“The temporary changes to the Fair Work Act are sensible and will themselves make a very real difference to the economy in the coming months. We particularly appreciate the cooperation of the union movement in working to help businesses to retain employees and to stay in business in these very challenging times. They have done a commendable job in representing the interests of their members over recent weeks,” Mr Willox said.