Australian music industry welcomes JobKeeper extension
JobKeeper. It’s the lifeline that’s kept the wheels turning for many music businesses.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed changes to the JobKeeper wage subsidy on Tuesday (July 21) and confirmed it will continue beyond September, offering some reprieve to music businesses.
The music biz welcomed the news with ARIA tweeting that it welcomes the news: “It will help the music industry and many music workers during this difficult time.”
APRA AMCOS also tweeted that it will continue to advocate for the sector at all levels of government the needs of our members and the industry at large during this crisis.
The Government’s JobSeeker payments will also be extended beyond September.
But both programs will be scaled back and eligibility tightened in an effort to wean businesses off government support as they begin to recover from the pandemic’s economic impact.
The revised wage subsidy will be split into a two-tiered payment after a review of the program, with a lower rate for casuals and part-timers, and will stay in place till the end of March 2021.
The PM announced yesterday that payments will fall from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight after September and people working fewer than 20 hours each week will receive $750.
The monthly payments will then fall to $1,000 per fortnight and $650 for people working fewer than 20 hours for the first three months of 2021.
It also looks set to be based on a new turnover test, with businesses required to demonstrate an ongoing hit to turnover to qualify for the revised scheme.
Morrison also said guidelines for JobKeeper will be expanded to include overlooked freelancers and contract workers who slipped through the cracks.
A recent petition to extend the JobKeeper wage subsidy for the arts and entertainment industry collected over 30,000 signatures in its first week.
The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), which represents Australia’s largest live event businesses, has welcomed the Government’s six-month extension to the JobKeeper program,
LEIF said almost all its members are continuing to suffer revenue losses of more than 90% because of the restrictions on gatherings imposed to protect the public from the virus.
More than five million Australians currently receive payments from the two programs, with the JobKeeper subsidy paid to 960,000 employers on behalf of 3.5 million workers.
Businesses have been paid a flat rate of $1,500 each fortnight since the Government established JobKeeper in March this year, at the height of the coronavirus crisis.