The jobkeeper scheme was a temporary wage subsidy for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) was also varied to include temporary jobkeeper provisions on 9 April 2020. The provisions originally applied until 27 September 2020. They were varied and extended again in September 2020 to apply until 28 March 2021. Most of the jobkeeper provisions were repealed on 29 March 2021 which means they do not apply on or after that date.
The temporary jobkeeper provisions were different for employers who qualified for jobkeeper payments at a particular point in time and ‘legacy employers’ who had previously, but no longer, qualified for jobkeeper payments. You can find out more about the temporary jobkeeper provisions for qualifying employers and legacy employers in the Jobkeeper disputes benchbook.
On 29 March 2021, most of the jobkeeper provisions in the Act were repealed, except as explained below. This means that on and after 29 March 2021 an employer cannot:
All jobkeeper directions and agreements stopped applying on 29 March 2021. Any orders made by the Fair Work Commission to give effect to a jobkeeper direction also stopped applying at the start of 29 March 2021.
On and after 29 March 2021, the Commission has limited power to deal with jobkeeper disputes. The Commission is no longer able to make orders giving effect to jobkeeper directions or substituting one jobkeeper direction for another. The Commission can make orders setting aside jobkeeper directions and other orders that it considers appropriate.
On and after 29 March 2021, an employee, employer, employee organisation or employer organisation can still apply to the Commission to deal with jobkeeper disputes about:
The Commission can deal with these disputes by arbitration, mediation, conciliation, expressing an opinion or making a recommendation.
For more information, go to How can the Commission resolve jobkeeper disputes?
You can make a jobkeeper dispute application if you are:
The Commission can only deal with disputes between employees and employers covered by the national workplace relations laws.
The Jobkeeper disputes benchbook is a an overview of the Commission’s legal procedure relating to the jobkeeper jurisdiction. It includes checklists about jobkeeper enabling directions and jurisdictional issues in relation to jobkeeper dispute
Download and complete the Form F13A – Application for the Commission to deal with a jobkeeper dispute (coronavirus economic response).
Email your completed form to email@example.com. If you have any supporting evidence, please also include this in your email.
Try to fill out your application form as accurately as possible. Mistakes in application forms can cause delays dealing with your jobkeeper dispute.
The Commission deals with jobkeeper dispute applications quickly.
Commission staff will check your application to make sure it includes all the information we need. We will contact you if anything is missing or if there is a problem with your application.
A Commission Member will then decide how to deal with your jobkeeper dispute. This often involves holding a telephone or video conference or hearing. The Commission Member will run the conference or hearing and it will include you and a person from the other side.
Commission Members can direct the people involved in a jobkeeper dispute to provide more information in writing. Sometimes a Commission Member will make a decision based on written material only.
All of the people involved in the jobkeeper dispute need to have all of the information. This helps us to deal with disputes fairly. The Commission will give copies of the application form and all submissions and evidence it receives about a case to both sides. If you are concerned about particular information being passed on, please contact us before sending it. The Commission can’t deal with disputes confidentially.
The Commission can deal with a jobkeeper dispute by:
An order is a ruling made by the Commission Member after they hear the dispute. Anyone bound by an order must comply with it.
From 29 March 2021, a Commission Member can make:
Orders made by Commission Members before 29 March 2021 that gave effect to a jobkeeper direction, or that substituted one jobkeeper direction for another, stopped applying on 29 March 2021.
There are workplace rights relating to the jobkeeper provisions in Part 6-4C of the Act. These workplace rights are protected under the general protections provisions of the Act.
A person must not take adverse action against another person because the other person has or had a workplace right or exercises, exercised or proposes to exercise a workplace right.
Different government agencies were responsible for different parts of the jobkeeper scheme.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has information on what happens now that the jobkeeper scheme has ended.
You can also phone the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
The Australian Tax Office administered the jobkeeper payment scheme. There is more information on the jobkeeper payment scheme on the Australian Tax Office website.
The Commission cannot deal with disputes about whether an employer or employee was eligible for jobkeeper payments or give advice about whether an employee was an eligible employee. The Commission does not have power to make orders about payment of jobkeeper payments.