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What does the end of JobKeeper mean for employers?

March 2nd, 2021

Barring any last-minute announcements from the Federal Government, the JobKeeper wage subsidy program will end on 28 March 2021. 

Since it was introduced, the $130 billion JobKeeper subsidy has helped employers keep staff on the books during the COVID-19 crisis.  

So, what do you need to consider moving forward? 

The JobKeeper FairWork provisions will end 

Along with the end of the subsidy, temporary JobKeeper provisions added to the Fair Work Act will cease.   

These “JobKeeper enabling directions” allowed qualifying and legacy employers to: 

  • stand down an employee (including reducing hours/days of work) 
  • change an employee’s normal duties 
  • change an employee’s work location.  

Find out more about this topic at coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au 

A strong understanding of your financial position is critical  

Businesses that went into debt during COVID-19 haven’t had much opportunity to recover, and the loss of JobKeeper could make it harder to meet overheads, maintain cashflow, and pay back creditors.  

On top of that, as we all know too well, the pandemic is ongoing. Even though vaccine
rollouts are underway in Australiamore disruptions could occur, such as the recent “circuit breaker” lockdown in Victoria.  

Can you plan ahead for this uncertainty? A closer look at your finances and operations could be required, with the expert help of your business adviser. Although JobKeeper is ending, there may be ongoing financial support in your state or territory, and some suppliers, landlords and lenders may be willing to keep offering concessions.  

Look for opportunities in your future decision-making 

What have you learned about the way your business operates now compared to pre-COVID? While some organisations have undergone more significant transformations
than others, thinking critically about what has changed for you could help with future staffing and resourcing decisions. 

It may be the ideal time to engage highly skilled workers or freelancers on a temporary basis. This could be a win-win for those looking for alternative sources of income, and businesses who need staff but are not yet able to commit to full-time positions. 

Some businesses have even identified more efficient ways of working as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, such as cost-cutting digital solutions. Are there industry associations or business chambers you could connect with to share knowledge? 

We’re here to provide support 

If your business is struggling, super is probably the last thing on your mind – but delaying your obligations here will only create more difficulties down the track. Contact us if you need support and we’ll point you in the right direction when it comes to managing your situation with the Australian Taxation Office.  

Call our Employer Services Team on 1300 943 171 or email us at employers@firstsuper.com.au.