JobMaker a win for businesses, but education is key

Published November 12, 2020 (last updated January 25, 2022) -

Employers need to educate themselves on all aspects of the new JobMaker scheme to avoid discriminating against older workers, according to Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.

The JobMaker wage subsidy, which has been designed to avoid youth unemployment and boost the job prospects of those aged 16 to 35 years old, has officially passed Parliament.

The hiring credit will allow employers to receive $200 per week if they hire workers between 16 to 29, or $100 a week for workers hired between 30 to 35. The money will be paid quarterly by the ATO starting from February.

This is a big win for small business owners and will help assist them in their recovery, after a year of financial struggle brought on by COVID-19,” said Employsure Managing Director Ed Mallett.

“JobMaker will help provide that bit of extra support for employers who desperately need any help they can get and will assist in bringing more young people back into the workforce.”

Since the details of the scheme were announced in the October budget, there have been concerns raised by some groups, including Federal Labor, that it would lead to older workers being let go and replaced by younger staff.

However, to qualify for the scheme, employers will have to increase their headcount and payroll, meaning the subsidy will only apply to new recruits, and employers can’t simply replace older staff with a younger worker.

The prospective employee must also be already receiving a Government payment such as JobSeeker or Youth Allowance for at least one of the three months prior to their date of employment and must work at least 20 hours of paid work a week.

“This is a complex scheme, and employers need to ensure they are abiding by all aspects of it before attempting to take on anyone new,” continued Mr Mallett.

“SMEs need to know their obligations while abiding by discrimination laws. What we don’t want to see is employers being caught out by letting go of older staff for the sake of hiring new people.

“An employer can land themselves in hot water under either the Fair Work Act or various anti-discrimination bodies if they fire someone due to their age, regardless of their intention.

“The scheme also only applies to workers who have been hired since October 7, so employers who haven’t hired anyone since then need to know they won’t be eligible until they bring in someone else new. 

“JobMaker has been designed to help keep struggling businesses open by allowing them to hire younger staff to help in their rebuild. As long as they abide by the rules, this could be that bit of extra support needed to start 2021 on the front foot,” he concluded.


 Further enquiries:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]


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