Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020; In Committee
To continue with the debate we've been having about amendments to this bill: the Labor Party have sought to support amendments to the bill that increase the transparency of the legislation so that the rules inside it can't be broken, so that employers can't game the system. To that end we have circulated a revised amendment, on sheet 1091, which requires reporting on the scheme to happen quarterly. Here we really want to be able to see the number of entities that have received payments, the number of employees, the total payroll and a comparison of the amounts that have been paid, and we want to be able to see those things across different regions.
When the government says there will be certain eligibility criteria and thresholds that need to be met in terms of employers demonstrating that they are increasing their headcount and not substituting existing workers with new, subsidised workers, it is important that this be transparent. It's important not only that it's transparent as to individual employers but that we can see it across the operation of the whole scheme. To that end, I move opposition amendment (1) on sheet 1091 revised:
(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 26), after item 4, insert:
4A After section 7
7A Requirements for rules that provide for jobmaker hiring credit scheme—reporting of aggregated scheme information
(1) This section applies if rules are made for the purposes of subsection 7(1A) that provide for a kind of payment known as the jobmaker hiring credit.
(2) The rules must require the Commissioner to make publicly available as soon as practicable after the end of each quarter the following aggregated information in relation to entities receiving payments under the scheme for the jobmaker hiring credit:
(a) the number of entities that received payments under the scheme during the quarter;
(b) the number of employees employed by the entities at the end of the quarter;
(c) the total payroll of all the entities for the quarter;
(d) a comparison of the amounts in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) with the amounts for the previous quarter.
(3) Rules made for the purposes of subsection (2) must also provide for reporting of that information aggregated across different sizes of businesses and across different regions of Australia.
(4) In this section:
quarter means a period of 3 months ending on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September or 31 December.
The CHAIR: The question is that amendment (1) on sheet 1091 as moved by Senator Pratt be agreed to.