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Can I give my employees work if they receive JobKeeper?

The COVID-19 JobKeeper wage subsidy is causing a lot of confusion. One of many questions asked to us is “Can I give my employees work if they receive JobKeeper?”

We have been busy helping business owners obtain information, pointing them in the right direction and helping them put together processes to manage their businesses. Accountants have been addressing the “money” side of the subsidy – we have been looking carefully at how this program is used in the best interest of the business.

Most of the conversation at the moment revolves around eligibility and how the scheme will work.

This is understandable – information is slowly coming available and we are seeing some clarity

JobKeeper is not a Welfare Payment

JobKeeper is not a “welfare” payment, it is a wage subsidy. Understanding this is important.

JobKeeper has a purpose – to retain people in employment and keep them in the workforce.

The Federal Government made changes to the Fair Work Act to “enable” employers to decide on the best way to structure work within their business. You can read more about this in our recent article on the changes – JobKeeper changes to employment arrangements.

What can an employee do when using jobKeeper?

The answer to this question is “anything useful” as long as it is within their competency range and safe for them to do it.

People may not be able to do their normal duties because of the effects of COVID-19 but this does not mean they are unable to work.

The main thing is, if a person comes to work and is safe, we have something useful for them to do.

Planning work using JobKeeper

For six months, the Federal Government will be providing you with wage subsidies for your employees.

This means that, while your “normal” business may have dropped off, there is potential for you to create work that can be of great benefit to your business, your employees and you in the years ahead.

Simply put – now is the time to get ready for your your businesses “next phase”

Employees Working if they receive jobkeeper – your plan

How to plan the work utilising JobKeeper

  1. Begin with the “end in mind”!
    Do some “strategic” planning. Establish/Refine your business goals and targets for the coming 12 months.

    Create a clear picture of what needs to be done to prepare your business for the future.

  2. Take the time to look at the competencies of your employees

    You may find some hidden talents that can provide fulfilling and valuable benefit to everyone and help you prepare for the future.

  3. Develop and implement business maintenance and customer/client contact plans and allocate tasks to people.

    Maintenance of your existing business, client base, customer relationships etc is an essential activity where it is possible. Based on the the competencies of your employees, identify the best people and allocate them the duties and hours required to keep things moving.

  4. Develop a strategy to achieve your goals and targets

    Identify what tasks you need to do to set your business up for future success. Based on the competencies of your employees, assign them tasks in this plan. Perhaps even look at structuring teams to achieve tasks to encourage interaction and teamwork.

  5. Consider how you are going to communicate tasks and track progress

    Many businesses are not operating in their normal environment. For example, people may be working from home. Consider how tasks will be communicated progress checked and information shared. We recommend having a look at one of our previous articles – https://peoplesmartz.com.au/People_Smartz_Blog/four-common-problems-when-employees-work-from-home

  6. Implement your plan

    Communicate and implement your plan. Establish and maintain open communication links and revisit your plan regularly. Update tasks and priorities as required to meet the changing environment in which we are operating – but remember to “keep the end in mind”

Need Assistance:

Do you need more assistance during COVID-19? Please contact People Smartz Pty Ltd on:

If you have employees working from home, you can also access more information from the following site:

Fair Work Ombudsman – Alternative Work Arrangements – Working from Home

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1800 HRSmartz (1800 477 627)
Tony Perkins: 0406 717 499
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