ACTU President Michele O’Neil will give evidence to the Senate Inquiry examining the JobMaker Hiring Credit to express the union movement’s serious concerns about the design of the scheme and the likely outcome for workers and the economy.

These concerns include:

  • The potential for the replacement of existing workers with subsidised workers,
  • The prioritisation of short term, insecure jobs,
  • The lack of any requirement that employers commit to paying legal rates of pay and complying with industrial and health and safety laws as a condition of receiving the subsidy,
  • Leaving millions of workers aged over 35 without access to meaningful government support to find work now, and crucially once JobKeeper ends in March of 2021,
  • That women are substantially less likely than men to be eligible for this scheme because many have been forced out of the labour market and therefore will not qualify for the prerequisite payments.
  • The low rate of the subsidies available ($100-$200 a week) which are unlikely to provide enough incentive for employers to take upon the program

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil,

“We need to create secure jobs which will put money in the hands of working people and give them the confidence to spend. Instead, the Morrison Government is funneling young people into insecure jobs – exacerbating a crisis of insecure work which pre-dated the crisis.

“This scheme will not help us escape this recession and restart the economy. We have been calling for months for the Government to step up and make meaningful investments in areas like aged care, tourism, manufacturing, early childhood education and public infrastructure construction.

“We have already seen the number of jobs this program is expected to create reduced by 90 per cent, meaning it will be available to a tiny fraction of young people who need a job.

“Government spending can create huge numbers of secure jobs and accelerate the recovery, but instead the Morrison Government is choosing to throw money at employers without tying it to outcomes for working people, while abandoning women and older workers.

“We call on the Morrison Government to address the serious concerns which the union movement and others have raised with this scheme, and release a comprehensive national economic reconstruction plan to create secure jobs and start the recovery.”