The Australian government recently announced that it will be making “jobkeeper” payments of “at least $1,500 per fortnight” to “eligible employees”.
The wording of that announcement indicates it is only available to Australian citizens, people holding Permanent Residence visas and New Zealanders living in Australia.
Staff on *temporary visas* of all kinds (including 457, 482, WHV, Student visas, bridging visa holders, partners of Australians who hold 300, 309 or 820 visas, etc) will *not* be eligible for “jobkeeper” payments.
The Australian Government has issued a FAQ, which includes the following:
Employer sponsored temporary work visas
11. I am a Temporary Skill Shortage visa holder – what should I do if I have be stood down or my hours are reduced?
Temporary Skill Shortage visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements.
Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa conditions or the business being in breach of their employer obligations.
12. I have lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what are my options?
Those who are laid off (that is, they are unemployed) should find another employer within 60 days or make arrangements to depart Australia, where this is possible.
13. I can’t find another employer what should I do?
Those visa holders who have been laid off due to coronavirus and who cannot find another employer to sponsor them, should make arrangements to depart Australia.
14. What can I do if I cannot return to my home country?
If you cannot return to your home country, you need to maintain a valid visa and engage with the health system when necessary.
Information on extending a stay in Australia if you are unable to depart is available at: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/
If you would like to read the details of the “Economic Response to the Coronavirus: Jobkeeper Payment — Information for Employers” Last updated: 30 March 2020, the details are available here: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment