As the voice for Australian workers, the ACTU has a deep and abiding interest in the efforts of the Government to assist the Australian economy to recover from the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The JobMaker hiring credit scheme is particularly important because it represents one of the Government’s first attempts to stimulate the recovery from the crisis, rather than an attempt to ameliorate its effects as we have seen with JobKeeper and other similar programs. It is disappointing therefore that that Government has delivered a program that will exacerbate the insecure work crisis the economy was already experiencing prior to the pandemic and which fails to address the disproportionate impact that the Covid recession has had on women.

The ACTU has a number of significant concerns about the lack of safeguards in this program, as outlined in the Budget documents, which we believe may incentivise the creation of insecure jobs over secure ones. It is our hope that this submission will result in significant changes to this program to address these complaints. We are however concerned that due to the nature of this bill, which leaves virtually the entire detail of the scheme to be dealt with through as yet unseen rules, that achieving this change will be difficult.