Thousands of Australian workers are told they are NOT eligible for the JobKeeper payment of $ 1500 every two weeks as the government changes the rules
- The federal government changed eligibility on May 1 for a $ 130 billion salary
- Employees at companies owned by foreign governments are not eligible
- More than 4,500 workers have been affected at catering company Dnata
- Employees say it is a ‘kick in the guts’ after advice that they were eligible
Australian employees at foreign-owned companies miss out on the federal government’s charge supplement after a last-minute change in admission requirements.
The government changed the definition of “sovereign entity” in the JobKeeper rules on May 1 to exclude companies that are 100 percent owned by foreign governments.
Dnata, which provides frozen meals to companies like Qantas, received news that they were no longer eligible for the $ 1,500 / fortnight payment in an email from management on Monday.
The company, which has 5,500 employees across Australia, falls into this category because it is owned by the Government of Dubai.
5,500 workers at Dnata, who provide frozen meals to companies like Qantas, received the news that they were no longer eligible for the $ 1,500 / fortnight payment in an email from management on Monday
The company has decreased 4,000 employees since March 30 when the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the shutdown of commercial aviation, reported news.com.au.
Originally, workers were told they would be covered by employers’ payments, but the retroactive change to the legislation has prompted workers to find ways to supplement their income.
The company said they had kept their employees on the books under the advice of the Australian tax authorities that employees would be eligible.
Employees were informed via email on Monday that they would not receive payments through the government’s JobKeeper program
“Dnata enrolled in the scheme and based on that, introduced plans for the retention and payment of our Australian employees,” said a Dnata spokeswoman.
The company believes the changes are unreasonable because it employs a large number of local workers and is an Australian-based income tax company.
The company has also invested $ 300 million in job creation, infrastructure and technologies over the past 13 years, including the acquisition of Qantas’s $ 150 million catering business.
Meanwhile, struggling workers have described the move as a “kick in the guts.”
The company has also invested $ 300 million over the past 13 years in creating jobs, infrastructure and technologies, including the acquisition of Qantas’s $ 150 million catering business (PICTURED: Qantas jets are at Sydney Airport due to COVID-19 )
The Treasury Department told news.com.au that government employers were better able to support their staff during the financial downturn.
“Government employers are expected to have a greater capacity to support their workers during this period than private companies,” said the spokeswoman.
The Australian Services Union said they were fighting to reverse the changes to protect the wages of Dnata’s customer service, freight and platform workers.
“This announcement will come as a complete shock and will undoubtedly be extremely worrying and disturbing to you,” ASU wrote in a statement.
“You can be sure that the ASU will do its utmost to try to change this outrageous narrow-minded decision so that you get the support you deserve.
The airline workers’ union has written a letter to federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) urging him to solve the loophole and provide support to workers in the commercial airline industry.
“Scott Morrison took JobKeeper away from you with a stroke and we will demand that he fix the problem he created,” ASU wrote.
The airline’s union has written a letter to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urging him to remedy the loophole and support workers in the commercial airline industry.
The $ 130 billion wage subsidy scheme was introduced to enable companies to keep their employees on record during the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19.