Bosses must keep paying staff if they intend to claim JobKeeper, despite the first payments not happening until May.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg issued the warning today as more than 900,000 businesses registered for the scheme.
Bosses must keep paying staff and not rort the system
Frydenberg said it is vital that employers pay their staff before receiving the payment in May, despite some struggling to find the cash.
For some, that is too long to wait.
As a result, many are now forced to apply for finance from banks in the meantime.
Frydenberg says he has spoken to the banks, who have assured him they will assist business owners with short-term loans to meet payroll:
“It was a very productive discussion. And we emphasised the need for the banks to provide support to those businesses.
“They have agreed to set up, each of these four major banks, a dedicated hotline for their customers to call to receive the bridging finance necessary to pay their staff, ahead of receiving that money under the JobKeeper program.
“Importantly, they have also agreed to expedite the processing of all those applications to the front of the queue.
“So our message today is, if you are a business or a not-for-profit that is eligible for the JobKeeper payment, as required, you need to pay your staff ahead of receiving the money from the Tax Office.
“Go to your bank. Ring their hotline. Ask for that support. And that support with be forthcoming.”
JobKeeper open to rorting
The delay in payments comes as many bosses are accused of rorting the scheme.
There are reports that some employers are refusing to claim the payment, unless the employee works more hours than they usually do.
Others bosses are refusing to pass on the full $1,500 payment, and taking a cut of the cash.
Both are not allowed.
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