Job Keeper

Published: 29 Apr 2020

The Morrison government has heard the Australian union movement’s call to ensure that all workers are covered by a wage subsidy program during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Government finally introduced the $130 billion JobKeeper scheme to assist employers to keep their employees on during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A number of employers in the Maritime Industry are eligible for the Job Keeper scheme. The Union encourages you to sign-up if the company provides the relevant forms. The Union will work with respective employers on how the Job Keeper payments will be applied.
The scheme entitles eligible employers who have suffered a specified substantial decline in turnover to a payment of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for salary or wages paid to eligible employees.  The wage subsidy is available to eligible employers for 13 fortnights, from the fortnight commencing 30 March 2020 to the fortnight ending 27 September 2020.
Further Details for employees:

  • $1500 per fortnight ‘job-keeper’ payment per eligible employee, delivered through the ATO from 1 May. Backdated to 30 March 2020.
  • An eligible employee is any employee, including a casual with greater than 12 months service, that was employed on 1 March 2020 by an eligible business.
  • An eligible business is a business who’s turnover has fallen by 30% or more (50% or more for businesses with turnover of $1billion or more). Losses need to be demonstrated or anticipated over a month (for example in comparison to the same month the previous year).
  • There is a legal obligation for employers to keep employees on.
  • Paid to employers to pass on to employees.
  • Employers must register employees.
  • Employees with more than one job are required to nominate a ‘primary employer’ and notify that employer if they have multiple jobs (can only claim once).
  • You cannot receive Jobkeeper and Jobseeker at the same time.
  • Not dependent on income. Flat payment.
  • Applies to NZ citizens on 444 visas but does not apply to any other visa type.
  • If an employee has been stood down since March 1 they will be eligible for the payment.
  • Businesses still operating will be able to use it as a wage subsidy (topping up to their actual wages). If you’ve been stood down you may only receive only the $1500 a fortnight.
  • As a worker if you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

For further information:
Call the MUA Office on 8447 1779 if you have any questions about how Job Keeper might apply to you.


Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney