The Accommodation Association, representing over 100,000 tourism accommodation rooms across Australia, has also strongly endorsed the $1500 per fortnight package.
CEO Dean Long said: “In particular, we welcome the application to all employees and business, irrespective of turnover. The key criteria is loss of turnover.”
“These hotels have seen significant closures, as the government health measures to contain this pandemic have resulted in the cessation of events, meetings and travel, resulting in occupancies below 10% over the forward bookings and revenue downturns of over 50%.
As the second largest employer in the tourism industry, employees are the lifeblood of our hotels and we welcome this support which ensures that when the industry rebounds they are there to drive even greater growth.
“Despite the closure of many of these hotels this month, they have been selfless in supporting the Association’s request, on behalf of government, to provide rooms for self-isolation across the states and territories.”
TAA said the new package will see businesses impacted by COVID-19 able to access a subsidy to continue paying employees.
Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1500 per eligible employee, for a maximum of six months.
Mr Johnson said the sector had been working closely with the Federal Government and the Australian Hotels Association to push for a fair system where employers were paid a rebate for keeping staff on.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister and the Federal Government for the on-going support they are providing to the accommodation sector throughout this challenging time, and the Labor Opposition for supporting it,” he said.
“At present, it’s all too obvious our industry is on its knees with current occupancy rates falling below 10 per cent and many hotels being forced to close indefinitely.
“From the start our priority has been the health and welfare of our staff and patrons.
“This new package will allow hotels to keep valuable employees engaged, off the Centrelink queues and preparing for recovery later this year.
“We will continue to work closely with Governments, industry stakeholders and the broader community to ensure the continued support of our members and their staff.
“We will find our way through this together. We are a strong and united industry which will meet our challenges head-on and continue working together to find solutions.”