Posted September 8, 2020
We have all been talking about what will happen in small business and the economy “when JobKeeper ends…” and now we are truly staring down the barrel of the gun. With Jobkeeper entering into phase two at the end of September, and more stringent eligibility rules put in place, many salon businesses will no longer be able to receive this wage subsidy. Additionally, many business owners have been taking advantage of the extra-ordinary workplace powers that came along with JobKeeper, including the ability to reduce hours, adjust work duties, alter working locations and changes in work times.
So what does this mean for salon owners as we transition into Jobkeeper 2.0?
Those salons that are ineligible for JobKeeper 2.0 come the end of September will still be able to take advantage of some those extra-ordinary workplace powers, and will still be able to reduce worker hours by up to 40% without penalty if they’re able to prove their salon revenue continues to suffer due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is particularly relevant in states like NSW where the fear is continuing that we have not as yet seen the worst of the second wave in our state. Most Melbourne-based salons will qualify for the second phase of Jobkeeper and so different rules will apply.
If salon owners can prove that their turnover has fallen at least 10% against a relevant quarter in 2019, they will still be able to reduce their worker’s hours by up to 40% of their contracted hours. Laws that empowered those employers receiving JobKeeper to seek agreement with staff to forcibly take annual leave will also be removed in JobKeeper 2.0. Those businesses looking to reduce hours for their staff will have to provide their team with at least 7 day’s notice of changes to their hours and won’t be able to give them shifts of less than two hours per day.
These two measures have been a serious bone of contention for industry leaders, with Attorney-General Christian Porter insisting that “These changes are time-limited. They are not permanent changes. They are linked to the extension of JobKeeper until the end of March 2021”. He insists that salon owners would not be completely stripped of assistance if they are no longer receiving JobKeeper under the new system, however JobKeeper 2.0 is certainly more restrictive and more challenging for salon owners to access than the original system.
Where to find more information
The Treasury released a fact sheet on 10 August 2020 which provides more detail on the JobKeeper Payment: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper
JobKeeper information is also available on the Australian Tax Office website: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/COVID-19/Support-for-businesses-and-employers/
JobKeeper employee nomination form: https://www.ato.gov.au/forms/jobkeeper-payment—employee-nomination-notice/
Advice or assistance
Our advisers are ready to answer your questions. For advice on this topic, or any other workplace relations matter, please call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.
The information contained in this article is based on information available at the time of writing (20 August 2020) and does not constitute legal or financial advice.
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