A deal to increase eligibility and maximum payments under the New South Wales JobSaver program will greatly benefit employers and allow them to keep their doors open and staff on their books.
Under the changes, the turnover threshold for eligible businesses which have experienced a decline of 30 per cent or more will rise to $250M (up from $50M). The maximum weekly payment for employers who maintain their employee head count will increase to $100k (up from $10k), with payments based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll. Sole traders remain eligible for $1000 weekly payments.
“This upgrade to the JobSaver program will help provide more financial security to businesses who have been devastated by the lockdown in New South Wales,” said Nicholas Hackenberg, employment relations specialist at Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor.
“Not only do we need to see this level of support continue should the lockdown be extended into September, but we also need to see something similar apply nationally. Employers have to constantly think about how they’re going to pay for their employees and business, and without the proper safeguards in place, they will be digging themselves out of debt for years to come.
“Schemes like JobKeeper have shown how effective correct support can be, and what we need now is to implement the best parts of that policy into a national scheme that can apply to all businesses.”
The federal government has said further financial support may be on the cards for small business owners, but has ruled out bringing back the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme that greatly helped prop up the Australian economy during the first year of the pandemic.
Employsure has previously called for more support to be offered to help struggling businesses, which is reflected in an increase in calls to its advice line from concerned business owners.
Since January, Employsure has seen a 30 per cent rise in calls from employers regarding termination, and a 68 per cent increase in grievance-related calls. What this shows is the cost of the pandemic is weighing down on the minds of business owners who have reached their breaking point.
“No amount of realistic support payment during a pandemic will ever be enough to make up for the losses SMEs suffer. This increase to JobSaver will at least allow them to operate with more confidence over the coming weeks and months,” continued Mr Hackenberg.
“While employers wait for these next payments to hit their bank account, they should now look at preserving as much cash as they can. They have every right to remain cautious, but as long as these payments are easily accessible and readily available to them when they need it, it is a step in the right direction.”