JobKeeper Payment – ceases
The Australian Government’s JobKeeper Payment to support businesses and their employees impacted by COVID-19 ceased Sunday 28 March 2021 , with final monthly business declarations completed by 14 April.
Initially set at a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per employee, with the goal of enabling businesses to remain operating during the height of COVID restrictions, the program was progressively scaled back from January 2021 to $1,000 (Tier 1) and $650 (Tier 2) payments for eligible businesses.
At it’s peak use, approximately 3.6 million employees were receiving JobKeeper Payments – between April and September 2020, out of a work force of 13 million Australians – over 30% of workers. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) figures showed approximately 1.54 million employees collected the subsidy between October and December the same year.
JobKeeper Australian Taxation Office data
According to ATO data, published on ABC.net.au, figures show Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries were the the largest users of the Payment, with Construction, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Retail sectors the next largest cohorts. Surprisingly, Accommodation and Food Services was about the 5th highest users of the scheme. Table shows average number of employees receiving a JobKeeper 1.0 payment (April – September 2020), compared to those receiving a JobKeeper 2.0 payment (October – December 2020) by selected industry.
|Employees on JobKeeper 1.0 (‘000)||Share of pre-COVID employment (%)||Employees on JobKeeper 2.0 (‘000) (Dec qtr)||Share of pre-COVID employment (%)||Change in number of employees (%)|
|Accommodation and Food Services||317||34||154||17||−52|
|Arts and Recreation Services||122||49||77||31||−37|
|Education and Training||131||12||65||6||−50|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||373||21||81||5||−78|
|Professional, Scientific and Technical Services||450||39||215||19||−52|
|Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services||111||52||49||23||−56|
|Transport, Postal and Warehousing||174||26||112||17||−36|
The next few months will show how businesses move forward, or whether we will see more business closures as a result of the end of the Payment scheme.