Job Keeper Ending : What does this mean for your Business?
The Job Keeper wage subsidy has kept hundreds of thousands of businesses afloat but, in just a few weeks, it will be gone. What will the impact be on your business and your employees? For a lot of organisations the Federal Government’s Job Keeper wage subsidy hasn’t just kept their business afloat but also kept employees connected to their employer. So, what does this mean for your business?
You may be asked lots of varying questions as employees may be feeling anxious about their job security. Business owners / Business leaders may be feeling anxious that they’re unable to retain employees due to downturn in business activity.
I can’t afford to keep employees when Job Keeper stops, what are my employees entitled to?
If an employer who has been receiving job keeper for their employees is ending an employee’s employment, the employee may be entitled to:
- Notice (or payment in lieu of notice)
- payment of accrued entitlements including pay, annual and long service leave
- redundancy pay (also known as severance pay)
- Redundancy pay is paid based on an employee’s original and usual rostered hours, not the hours under any Job Keeper direction. For example, an employee working fewer or no hours under a Job Keeper enabling stand down direction gets redundancy pay based on their ordinary and rostered hours before the stand down direction was given.
Redundancy happens when:
- an employer doesn’t need the employee’s job to be done by anyone, or
- the business becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
- When a business is bankrupt, also known as going into liquidation or insolvency, employees may be able to get financial assistance through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee. This can include payment for outstanding wages, leave, notice and redundancy pay.
The Job Keeper scheme hasn’t changed the rules for calculating an employee’s redundancy entitlements.
The employee still needs to be consulted about the redundancy before it happens.
When dismissing an employee, an employer who has been receiving Job Keeper for their employees should check the applicable award, enterprise agreement, employment contract and workplace policies that apply. They should also check the National Employment Standards (NES). These set out the rules and obligations when dismissing an employee. They also apply when dismissing an employee participating in the Job Keeper scheme.
Do I need to return employees to their pre-Job Keeper wages and hours?
Yes. If an employee’s contract has not been changed by mutual written agreement between the employee and employer through consultation the employee will return to normal duties and on their original pay. If your business does not have enough work or cannot afford to retain the employee once job keeper has stopped please refer to the above “I can’t afford to keep employees when job keeper stops, what are my employees entitled to?”
Here are some examples of some more questions your employees will ask:
Q. ‘I’m a casual worker who was receiving the full Job Keeper payment, when it ends my wage will be less than that, is my employer required to increase my hours?
Q. “My employer has issued me with a new contract to have my normal working hours reduced after Job Keeper, what happens if I refuse to sign the contract?
Continue to keep your business up to date with any changes to Job Keeper subsidies and educate your staff. Communication and consultation between your business and employee will assist and help in the decisions your business needs to make to ensure your business is successful and you have happy employees ?
Key dates and information
- The final Job Keeper payment will be processed in April 2021.
- If you haven’t yet enrolled for job keeper there is still time. If you’re eligible you can enrol at any time until the end of March 2021.
- If you already receive Job Keeper payments for your eligible employees, you don’t have to do anything when the program closes.
- However, you will need to complete your final monthly business declaration for March by 14 April 2021.
- If you still need assistance you may be eligible for the Job Maker Hiring Credit or other help.
Please contact one of our highly experienced HR Consultants for further advice at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1300 55 99 62.