Sacked local government staff told they're ineligible for federal government's JobKeeper pay

Australians who have lost their jobs at local council swimming pools and libraries due to the coronavirus shutdown are being told they don't qualify for the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy.

6/04/2020 11:28:00 AM

Australians who have lost their jobs at local council swimming pools and libraries due to the coronavirus shutdown are being told they don't qualify for the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Australians who have lost their jobs at local council swimming pools and libraries due to the coronavirus shutdown are being told they don't qualify for the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Share on TwitterWhen Laura left her job in the private sector to work for the local council, she thought she would have better job security.Now the 31-year-old swimming teacher has been laid off by Willoughby Council in Sydney’s north shore and has been told she is ineligible for the government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy.

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“I took the government job because I thought it was a bigger opportunity, but now it has hurt me. I thought it was going to be for the best and now I’m not getting anything,” she told SBS News.Last week Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the $130 billion JobKeeper program.

AAPLast week, the federal government announced a $130 billion plan to subsidise the wages of up to six million Australians left unemployed due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The $1,500-per-fortnight flat payment will be given to employers who have lost 30 per cent or more of their revenue to pass onto their employees and keep them on the books.

But despite many local councils being forced to shut public swimming pools and libraries due to COVID-19 restrictions, the shutdowns haven’t led to a 30 per cent decrease in each council's overall revenue, meaning they and their staff are ineligible for the subsidy.

The bulk of local government revenue comes from residential and commercial rates as well as grants from other levels of government.READ MORECalls for JobKeeper wage subsidy to cover temporary visa holdersLisa Darmanin is the Victorian and Tasmanian branch secretary of the Australian Services Union, which represents local government workers. She said several councils in Victoria have moved to sack large numbers of staff.

Just last week the council in the Victorian city of Geelong moved to stand down 560 workers from a range of services, not just across swimming pools and libraries.“We are trying to work with each of the employers to redeploy the staff where there have been shutdowns. We don’t accept the view that there isn’t any work to be done,” Ms Darmanin said. 

READ MORENearly one million casuals left out of JobKeeper wage subsidyShe said that as the third tier of government, local councils had an important role to play during the coronavirus crisis in delivering frontline services such as meal programs for elderly or vulnerable Australians.  

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“Local government needs to play a role in stimulating economic activity, they need to work with the state and federal governments on opportunities to create jobs and drive the economic recovery rather than standing people down,” she said. Read more: SBS News »

People will not be paid nearly in time enough. jobkeeper is a mess and many employers will not sign on as they run dodgy books and or to much paperwork plus the million plus that fall through the large holes. Centrelink is a miless and overloaded. Give it a week or two. Chaos If council revenue is not affected, why do they need to stand down the workers? Theres plenty of things local council staff can be doing in the meantime.

They can apply for jobseeker... Can't get Job Seeker or Job Keeper? Know what happens when people have no income and get hungry?... they steal. Oh really? Turns out the fed govt's lazy pledges were for display purposes only? Zero surprises there and consistent with typical form🙄 Devil is Always in the Detail

I think it affects anyone who works for a branch of govt. casual teachers as well (not sure about private school casuals) Older working Australians stood down or sacked are not eligible for job seeker if pension age. Better to go on the pension, go fishing and live on the public purse, no stress. Jeepers and having spent all that money on changing rooms and pools in Sydney you would have thought they would be prioritised!

Luck of the draw. Unless MPs make a move, it is what it is. Please report Centrelink is there for these casuals ScottMorrisonMP JoshFrydenberg They’ll get the same dollars Centrelink JoshFrydenberg ScottMorrisonMP DanielAndrewsMP GladysB AlboMP AnnastaciaMP Outrageous. These roles are fundamental community roles and part of Australia’s beating heartbeat, community. Will you rethink to ensure livelihoods? JuliaGillard unionsaustralia FlattenTheCurve

The 'fine print' - gets you all the time. Neither are any of the staff being stood down from higher education institutions -none qualify for jobkeeper status. the loopholes in the package are highly problematic and are leaving thousands of Australians with no assistance at all How ridiculous! Centrelink 7NewsAustralia

Why 🤔