Getting Employees Back To Work With JobKeeper

If you are eligible for Job Keeper, then here’s what you need to know and do in order to start to get your team back to work.

Firstly work out once you’ve applied for the Job Keeper payment.

  1. Work out how much work you may have to give to your employees that you will receive the Job Keeper payment for – is this normal full-time or part-time hours, will it be reduced hours, etc?
  2. Where will this work be completed?  At work, with social distancing practices applied, or will there need to be work at home arrangements put in place (or continued)?


  • If an employee earns less than $1500 per fortnight, you will need to pass on all of this to them.
  • If they earn more than the $1500 per fortnight, ensure you can afford to pay the difference between the Job Keeper payment until the end of September.

Here’s an example of one of our clients before Job Keeper:

Mikey is employed full-time as a tradesperson.  Over recent months, work for the business has significantly dropped to next to nothing.  The business does not wish to close its doors and has not been directed by the government to close, therefore a ‘stand down’ arrangement was not applicable.   The business owner had a conversation with Mikey to talk through the options of either looking at some alternate work arrangements for a period of 1 month or taking leave; they mutually agreed that Mikey would take leave (paid and unpaid) for this period.  They also agreed that Mikey could look for other casual work during this period.  They have kept in touch throughout this period.

Same example, with Job Keeper:

The business believes they are eligible for the Job Keeper payment and have made their applications.  Their situation has not fully changed, but they feel they have some relevant work that Mikey could do part-time for the next couple of months (within his skillset and work that he’s done before).  They’ve now had a 2nd conversation with Mikey.  The conversation with Mikey was around returning to work at reduced hours over the course of fortnight (equal to the gross value of the $1500 per fortnight Job Keeper payment).  As Mikey had picked up some casual work, they also stated that they would be flexible around what days and hours Mikey would do.  All parties agreed and Mikey has returned to work.  This arrangement will now be in place until end September 2020.

Now, this is an ideal scenario.  We know in some instances, this may not happen, and some further negotiations may need to happen to reach agreement, however done the right way, this is an example of what can be achieved and the ideal outcome for every employer.

If you can achieve mutual agreement, then my personal view is that everyone has had the opportunity to have a say.  People feel like they’ve been listened to and included.  It helps with building trust and in aiding things getting back to some level of normal (well, as normal as things can be right now!)

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