The proposed JobMaker scheme would encourage employers to sack long-term full-time workers, and replace them with part-time workers, the ACTU has warned.
The program pays employers $200 a week for employing people under the age of 30, and $100 for hiring those aged 30-35. But the national trade union body believes it does nothing to protect existing workers from being sacked and replaced with three workers for a third of the wage.
“This scheme will do nothing to address the growing problem of job insecurity. It’s actually creating three insecure jobs in place of one secure, decently paid full-time job,” ACTU President Michele O’Neil said.
Older workers are already discriminated against
“Older workers in Australia are already discriminated against and this program is just going to make that worse by putting money in employers’ hands to replace them with young people.”
O’Neil said the scheme made it tempting for businesses to sack someone earning a full-time wage and hire three young and vulnerable people who were desperate for work, for a fraction of the price, and have the remainder of their wage covered by the Federal Government.
This would enable employers get 20 hours of extra labour at no extra cost to themselves.
“The ACTU made these issues known upon announcement of the JobMaker program, as well as in our submission into the inquiry on this piece of legislation and in verbal evidence to the committee, but these points were rejected by the Morrison Government without further discussion,” the union body said in a statement.
Eligible employers receive payment for up to a year
JobMaker is essentially a hiring credit. The payment provides an incentive for employers to hire young job seekers by helping to support the new employee’s wage costs.
Eligible employers can receive the payment for up to 12 months for each new eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.
JobMaker is it worth up to $10,400 per year. Employers will be credited up to $200 a week for additional employees aged 16 to 29 years, and up to $100 a week for those aged 30 to 35 years who meet the eligibility criteria.