The government is expected to make an announcement on Monday about wage subsidies to keep Australians working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg flagged a significant announcement as part of the government’s next phase of economic stimulus for the nation.
“[It’s] about what we will do to support employers and employees and this is all about ensuring that people can continue to remain in jobs,” he told Sky News on Monday.
Mr Frydenberg said any wage subsidy system would have legal obligations for businesses to keep employees on.
But he said the system would be an Australian-style system, not a UK-style one, where the UK government is funding 80 per cent of businesses’ wage bills.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already asked businesses to hold off further shutdowns or job cuts ahead of its third stimulus package.
It’s expected to include a $1500 a fortnight “job keeper” allowance for those whose employers go into “hibernation” for the next six months.
As well as the wage subsidy, there is also expected to be an easing of restrictions on claiming benefits, and rental assistance for both business and individuals.
It comes at a time when economists are predicting a jump in the unemployment rate, possibly as high as 17 per cent.