$130 billion JobKeeper package is what tourism has been waiting for

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister and Treasurer introducing a $130 billion JobKeeper Payment that will help save thousands of jobs in the tourism, hospitality, events and accommodation sectors.

The package will deliver $1,500 a fortnight directly to employers to assist them in retaining staff in their businesses. The scheme will support employees who were on the books dating back to 1 March 2020, and the first payments will be effective from 1 May 2020.

VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said, “This latest economic survival measure is just what industry has been waiting for and provides the lifeline needed to assist them in retaining valued staff who have helped to build their businesses into what they were before this crisis crippled our sector.

“The fact that this package recognises employees on the books dating back to 1 March (2020) is a huge benefit and means many employers are in the position to potentially rehire staff they had to separate from the business in recent weeks.

“The wage subsidy solution has been a key priority of the advocacy efforts by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of all Victorian businesses, and VTIC has continued that messaging in our dedicated push for tourism businesses, including the importance of support during any economic hibernation period,” Ms Mariani said.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Federal Government to continue paying their employees by claiming a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee for six months, commencing today (March 30 2020).

Businesses with a turnover of under $1 billion will need to show that their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% when compared to the comparable period a year ago. For businesses over $1 billion in turnover, they will need to illustrate reduction in turnover in excess of 50% when compared to the same time last year. The business will not be subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

“This package has enormous benefits for businesses of all sizes and will be a critical support to allowing operators across the tourism, accommodation and hospitality sectors to keep staff engaged with their businesses and out of the CentreLink queues.

“Allowing businesses to bring back employees that were previously on their books means they can completely rethink their operating environment knowing that the JobKeeper Payment will help subsidise the cost of having these employees in their business.

“Most importantly, it means that once we get to the other side of this crisis, tourism businesses across Victoria will have been able to retain the passionate and valued staff they will need to gear up again and to kick-start the recovery process for our vital industry,” Ms Mariani concluded.

Source: Victoria Tourism Industry Council