The information and links contained in this article are correct at the time of writing (18 January 2021).
The festive season has come and gone, and most businesses are getting back into the swing of things. There have been some recent changes to the Jobkeeper Payment rate as well as the planned return to the office for Victorian workers.
Jobkeeper Payment rate has reduced
When Jobkeeper 2.0 was first announced in July 2020, part of the extended Jobkeeper program involved a two-tiered payment.
From 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021, the Jobkeeper payment rate is $1000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average, and $650 a fortnight for employees who were working less than 20 hours a week on average.
It is still expected that Jobkeeper will end on 28 March 2021.
Victorian office workers can return to the workplace
On 14 January 2021, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews relaxed mask rules and announced that Victoria’s staged return to the office will resume on Monday, 18 January 2021.
From this date, businesses can have up to 50% of staff return to the office.
Mandatory mask rules have been eased from 11:59pm on Sunday, 17 January 2021. Masks will remain mandatory on public transport, taxis and rideshare vehicles, supermarkets and indoor shopping centres.
Masks are no longer compulsory in workplaces, but it is recommended that they are worn where physical distancing is not possible.
The following control measures should be implemented before returning people to the workplace:
- Have a COVIDSafe Plan
- Ensure only 1 person per 2 square metres
- Follow physical distancing of 1.5 metres
- Following cleaning and hygiene protocols
- Keep records of all workers and visitors who attend the premises for longer than 15 minutes – a template is available here.
Employers can read the Premier’s statement here.
We want to answer your questions
Our workplace advisers are standing by and ready to answer your questions. For further advice or assistance on this topic, or any workplace relations matter, please call us on 1300 862 217, 8:30am – 5:30pm AEDT Monday to Friday.