“The NSW Government has decided to extend the Job Saver program to 30 November, with payments tapering to 15 per cent of payroll after we have hit the 80 per cent vaccinated milestone around mid to late October,” said David Harding, Executive Director, Policy and Advocacy at Business NSW.
“This is a laudable intervention, but probably an imperfect interim solution to a difficult situation for our business community.
“This extension will provide certainty as businesses prepare for reopening, and will help provide a softer landing for many, however there will be some who won’t be able to snap back as readily as others,” David Harding said.
“We may find this support is insufficient for businesses who have been significantly impacted, or unable to open, due to the ongoing restrictions under the Public Health Orders, and with closed state borders.
“The existing support package has been very effective with the two elements of the Commonwealth supporting employees with the disaster payments, and both Commonwealth and State governments supporting businesses with JobSaver.
“Our most recent member survey found over 50 percent of businesses said the support packages really hit the mark in keeping them going, and over 40 per cent told us the payments have been critical to getting ready to ‘snap back’ when it’s time to open.
“Unfortunately, some employees in heavily impacted industries will be left with the difficult decision of staying with their existing employer and losing income or leaving a job they love to meet their expenses.
“Losing key staff will reduce the capacity of those businesses and act as a hand brake to their recovery once the economy bounces back,” David Harding said.
“I fear without additional support from the Commonwealth Government, some businesses who have survived the pandemic will stumble at the final hurdle.
“I encourage the NSW government to remain responsive and supportive to those businesses that will inevitably struggle in the early days and months of phased lifting of Covid restrictions,” he said.