The Liberal Nationals want Victoria to follow South Australia’s lead and exempt JobKeeper payments as remuneration when calculating WorkCover premiums.

To support South Australian businesses to maintain jobs and survive the COVID-19 crisis, ReturnToWorkSA has decided that wage subsidy payments under the JobKeeper program will not be considered remuneration when calculating premiums in 2020-21.

NSW is considering how JobKeeper payments will be treated for insurance premium calculations, but Victoria’s WorkSafe is currently telling businesses that JobKeeper payments will be “included as remuneration for WorkCover premium calculation purposes”.

Victoria already exempts allowances and payments for leave and termination when calculating WorkCover premiums, so JobKeeper payments should also be exempt.

The Andrews Government shouldn’t be taking a cut of the money from the Federal Government that’s designed to support workers and the businesses that employ them.

The Liberal Nationals are also calling on the Andrews Government to cancel its $700 million dividend raid from WorkCover and to instead use these funds to provide relief to distressed businesses.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Workplace Safety, Nick Wakeling:

“The Liberal Nationals want to see more done to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

“A decision to make JobKeeper payments exempt from WorkCover would help relieve pressure on thousands of businesses who are doing it tough right now.

“We need to help businesses survive this crisis, so they can keep people employed and get back to work once restrictions are lifted.”