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Extend JobKeeper “Godsend” or expect JobSeeker explosion: dire warning from industry leaders

The vital importance of JobKeeper to the industry is backed up by a new survey.

Accom and tourism industry leaders from across the nation are uniting in plea for the PM to make a firm commitment to extend the Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme.  

The survey released by leading industry body The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA says an extension of the JobKeeper for WA’s hotels and hospitality businesses until at least the end of the year is essential to save businesses and jobs.

AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said the results underscore the fact that JobKeeper has saved countless businesses and tens of thousands of jobs, but shows there is clearly a need to extend the scheme for WA’s hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and taverns beyond September.

The results reiterate and quantify what we have been hearing from venues across the state for many months, in that the scheme has been a lifeline for many, but will be required until at least the end of the year if we are to prevent devastating job losses.

“Hospitality businesses are now in the precarious position where they are seeking to recover but are facing the cessation of a scheme that is keeping them afloat. JobKeeper has been a godsend and employers know that such subsidies cannot last forever, however the period between September and December will be critical to the survival of many.”

“The AHA’s extensive business survey results are clear – failure to extend JobKeeper for the hospitality industry beyond September will have one in five businesses dismiss or reduce the hours of employment for between 50 and 100 per cent of their staff.”

Other tourism industry leaders have been pressuring the PM for some time, with calls for the JobKeeper program to be extended until next year.

Last week Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson renewed calls for the JobKeeper program to be extended following the spike in COVID-19 in Victoria and the closure of the NSW-Victorian border.

He told us: “This will definitely slow the recovery of the accommodation sector, not only in Victoria but right across the country with Tourism Accommodation Australia lobbying government for the extension of JobKeeper to keep the industry afloat.”

CEO of Accommodation Association of Australia (AAOA) Dean Long spoke about the Roadmap to Recovery program and he told us: “Our industry is in the biggest fight for its survival, unmatched by the GFC, SARs or 9/11. Circumstances well outside our control have destroyed demand. Our Roadmap to Recovery highlights the key steps to economic recovery for our sector, from retaining employees to driving demand.

“In particular we continue to emphasise the critical role of JobKeeper and the necessity of ongoing tailored support until March 2021 to guide the sector through the recovery process (given current operating losses) and the extension of the HIGA measures that have supported the retention of employees.”

There are indications that the Morrison government will revamp and extend the JobKeeper program beyond September but details have not been released.

The AHA(WA) survey results…

  • 530 responses
  • 93.7% of respondents (businesses) are signed up to the JobKeeper payment scheme
  • Over half (53.4%) of all respondents have between 50% and 100% of all staff on JobKeeper payments
  • 32.6% of all respondents have over 70% of all staff on JobKeeper payments
  • If the JobKeeper payment scheme ends on 30 September:
  • 31.5% of respondents expect to dismiss or reduce hours of employment for 10-29% of their staff
  • 30.4% of respondents expect to dismiss or reduce hours of employment for 30-59% of their staff
  • 9% of respondents expect to dismiss or reduce hours of employment for 50-59% of their staff
  • More than one in five respondents (20.5%) expect to dismiss or reduce hours of employment for 50-100% of their staff

Mandy Clarke

Mandy is one of our most popular industry reporters. Make sure you never miss out on her monthly property profiles by subscribing to Resort News!

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