Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020, Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Bill 2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2019-2020; Consideration in Detail
In relation to long-term casuals, and as I described earlier in my remarks to the member for Watson, where possible we have sought to draw on an existing understanding of those terms within our industrial relations framework. With respect to casuals, we refer to them as 'long-term', 'regular' and 'systematic', so if they've got a systematic, long-term and ongoing relationship with that employer and therefore for the purposes of our industrial relations system they are considered a casual employee of that employer—and have been for longer than 12 months, as of 1 March—then, yes, of course they will be entitled to the JobKeeper payment.
I know the member for Melbourne explicitly carved out from his question the point around sole traders. As I'm sure he understands, particularly in the arts and entertainment industry so many of the individuals involved are in that contract relationship as sole traders or, effectively, as self-employed individuals. The government has been very keen to make sure that sole traders—people who, at the end of the day, only get paid when they work—are also included in this JobKeeper scheme. Again, we've drawn on the well-understood term within our industrial relations framework of an 'ongoing and systematic relationship' between an employee and an employer for the purposes of that casual test. Again, to go to the specifics of the arts and entertainment industry, of course those independent contractors, sole traders and self-employed individuals would also qualify.