What should happen when my employer applies for the COVID-19 wages subsidy?

Answer

The wage subsidy is to help keep your income (not your employer's).

  • The government has been very clear - the subsidy goes to the employer but they must pass all of it on to you. 
  • If your employer is collecting the wage subsidy they can’t make you - or any other people at work - redundant
  • They must pay you at least 80% of your current income. (But they should be aiming for 100%)
  • But, if you are being paid less you should work less. For example, if you’re only getting paid 80% of your regular income, you should only work 80% of your regular hours. 

It is important for you to understand the context of the COVID-19 wage subsidy. During the Government imposed COVID-19 lockdown, the Government has made a wage subsidy available that employers can apply for to assist them to meet their wages/salary obligations.  The Government has made it a condition of the subsidy that the employer must apply best efforts to continue to pay 80% of wages/salary while they are in receipt of the wages subsidy. There may be situations where the employer is unable to do this but any reduction in pay to  a limit of $585.50 must be as a result of agreement between you and your employer. However, the employer’s application for, and the passing through of a wage subsidy, is a separate issue to your rights under your employment agreement