Unions press for lockdown JobKeeper reboot

Trade unions continue to demand the federal government reinstate JobKeeper and are calling for small enterprise grants as the NSW lockdown continues.

The ACTU wants immediate cash grants for small businesses and says current assistance measures are “confusing, inadequate and often administratively burdensome”.

It dismissed as “grossly inadequate” the one-off disaster payments, starting at $375 per week and up to a maximum $600 for those who have lost more than 20 hours of work.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said the government should add casuals to JobKeeper, a “tried and tested system”.

“The current disaster payment is less than the minimum wage and less than what workers received during lockdowns in 2020,” she said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has appealed for the reintroduction of wage subsidies but Scott Morrison is resisting the call.

The prime minister told reporters on Sunday he was however “very open to consider how we deal with the situation as it further evolves”.

The ACTU will this week hold its triennial ‘congress’ which is considered the nation’s largest gathering of union delegates.

Participants vote on policies impacting areas including the workplace, rights, wages and conditions.

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