In March, Australia’s wage subsidy scheme and generous unemployment benefits stood out globally for their decent approach to the COVID-19 crisis. Now, as cases spike, those schemes are being eroded as government opts to push more people into insecure work.
Lauren Kelly is a policy adviser with the United Workers' Union in Melbourne, Australia.
The Australian “JobKeeper” scheme will subsidize the wages of many throughout the course of this pandemic, but more than 2 million workers are set to be left out entirely. What’s more, the scheme undermines collective bargaining agreements, giving more power to employers in a shift that threatens to far outlive this crisis.