Parliament urged to unanimously pass JobKeeper amendments

Australia’s largest business group is urging the House of Representatives and the Senate to unanimously pass legislation to extend JobKeeper in order to save as many Australian jobs as possible over the coming months.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for swift passage of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 introduced to Parliament today.

“Our political leaders say we are all in this together – today they have the chance to demonstrate that,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“We call on every Federal member of Parliament to send a message to Australians that saving their jobs is a top priority. This Bill continues temporary, but essential Fair Work flexibilities to assist employers in pivoting their businesses to survive this health and economic crisis.

“Without these options, hundreds of thousands more Australians would be out of work.”

Mr Pearson said the Bill would ensure businesses, such as those in the restaurant industry in Victoria, could retain staff while pivoting in response to restrictions and recession.

“For example, if Victorian restaurants can’t function as restaurants, they have to come up with new ways of doing business.

“In this instance, the Fair Work flexibilities allow for employers to move staff from floor duties to packaging or delivery duties as they become take-away and delivery operations.

“These are common-sense measures to help keep businesses in businesses and people in jobs.”

Mr Pearson said the temporary measures had already been proven to work.

“We’ve had strong feedback that these changes have been used by sole traders, small businesses and large employers in order to stay afloat and keep Australians in jobs.

“It is vital these options to pivot businesses and retain jobs remain in place as massive challenges continue for our community and the businesses we depend on.”

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