The controversial JobMaker hiring credit scheme has officially passed Parliament, giving Australian employers greater incentive to hire younger workers.
JobMaker is designed to boost the employment prospects of 16 to 35 year olds, with the Government estimating it will support 450,000 jobs.
Like JobKeeper, the JobMaker hiring credit is a wage subsidy paid to employers at a fixed rate. Business owners will receive $200 per week to hire workers between 16 to 29, or $100 a week for workers between 30 to 35. This will be paid in quarterly arrears by the ATO.
Workers will only be eligible if they’re already receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance (Other), or the Parenting Payment for at least one of the three months prior to their date of employment.
They also have to work at least 20 hours of paid work to be eligible and is only eligible with one employer at a time.
But employers will have to increase their headcount and payroll to qualify for the scheme, meaning new people must be hired and workers who are already employed at a business don’t qualify.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the new wage subsidy had passed on Wednesday night.
The #JobMaker Hiring Credit has passed the Parliament, helping young people aged 16-35 get back into work.
This is part of the Morrison Government’s plan to create jobs, rebuild the economy & secure Australia’s future. pic.twitter.com/shEX25XV0x
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) November 11, 2020
“Youth unemployment was particularly impacted by restrictions imposed as part of the health response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the JobMaker Hiring Credit specifically designed to encourage businesses to take on additional young employees and increase in employment,” Frydenberg said in a statement.
“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 legislation which passed included no amendments from Labor or members of the crossbench, who tried to make the scheme more transparent and block businesses from the subsidy if they fire or cut hours from current workers in order to qualify.
The Government rejected these amendments and said they were unnecessary, and that current protections from the Fair Work Act will still apply, ABC reported.
“There are significant legislative protections in place, in terms of the legislation that went through the parliament last night, which is a big win for the job prospects of hundreds of thousands of Australians,” Frydenberg told the Today Show on Thursday morning.
One Nation founder Pauline Hanson’s support was crucial to the passing of JobMaker after backflipping on her stance. Initially pushing for amendments, she ultimately offered her support to the legislation after Frydenberg presented her with unemployment figures on young Australians.
The scheme will apply for workers hired from 7 October, but employers will have to wait until February 2021 to get the subsidy.
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