The Commonwealth Government has introduced two new COVID-19 employment measures.
JobMaker Hiring Credit
This scheme enables payments to assist workplace participation by people aged 16 to 35 years.
The first year of this program runs from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021. It is intended that the program will be extended.
Eligible employers can claim $200 per week for each additional employee hired during this period aged 16 to 29 years. For employees aged 30 to 35 years employers can only claim $100.
Employees can be hired on a permanent, casual or fixed-term basis.
The payments are made as credits claimed quarterly in arrears from the Australian Taxation Office.
Paid parental leave work test period amendment
The work test period in the Paid Parental Leave Act has been temporarily amended. This applies to births and adoptions that occur between 22 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.
It allows access to parental leave pay and ‘dad and partner’ pay by those who do not otherwise meet the criteria of the work test due to the pandemic.
The work test requirements have not changed. An individual must have worked:
- at least 10 months in their work test period; and
- at least 330 hours in that 10-month period with no more than a 12-week gap between any two consecutive working days.
The work test period is usually 13 months prior to the birth or adoption of the child. The temporary change means that it is 20 months for parents who have had their employment impacted by COVID-19.
Information on these and previous COVID-19 employment measures see the commentary available at the top of every By Lawyers matter plan: Dealing with COVID-19 legal issues – Some practical information.