CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMICGENERAL PROPERTY

JobKeeper extension will help many property businesses

Photo: Warren Goldswain
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THE property industry has welcomed the extension of JobKeeper. Real estate is amongst one of the big sectors with the largest share of employees receiving the wage subsidy.

The government this week unveiled JobKeeper 2.0, a two-tiered system which will start once the existing scheme finishes on September 27. There will be one rate for full time staff, another for part time and casuals. From 28 September 2020 to 4 January 2021, the current $1,500 per fortnight will reduce to $1,200 for full time and $750 for part time and casual employees working less than 20 hours a week. From 4 January and 28 March, the rate will reduce to $1,000 for full time, $650 for part time and casual staff.

Australian Property Institute CEO Amelia Hodge said the industry continues to feel the impact.

“Across the property industry we’re still feeling the effects of coronavirus restrictions on business activity.

“Extending the JobKeeper program will keep businesses open right across the economy and that’s a good thing for the 1.4 million Australians who work and rely on the property industry,” Hodge said.

Capital Economics’ senior economist Marcel Thieliant said although the accommodation and food services sectors have so far recorded the largest job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sectors with the largest share of employees receiving JobKeeper payments are real estate & property operators, rental & hiring services, and arts & recreation.

Wage Deciles by Sector (2018, $ per fortnight)

Source: Capital Economics, ABS

Property Council of Australia CEO Ken Morrison said the extension provides businesses with the certainty they need for the coming months.

“The JobKeeper program has provided critical support for the Australian economy during the pandemic, assisting almost one million businesses and 3.5 million workers.

“This includes many businesses in the property industry, which is Australia’s biggest employer… Everyone recognises that pandemic measures such as this can’t continue forever, but this extension is certainly appropriate,” Morrison said.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said the introduction of the JobKeeper kept many employed in the real estate sector and those same people have been engaged in providing the essential service of keeping tenants housed during the pandemic.

“With some 3.3 million properties that are rented or available for rent across Australia the extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker will do much to ease the stress and anxiety that many tenants are feeling at this time. Many of these are rented by people who have lost their jobs in industries that will be slow to recover.

“The extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker will play a vital role in helping Australians plan for recovery and rebuilding from the impact of COVID-19.” Kelly said.

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