‘More Qld jobs will go’ if JobSeeker pain not addressed


Queensland's economic recovery will be slower and more workers will lose their jobs unless flexible industrial relations arrangements are extended above September, businesses are warning.

It comes as there are reports regional businesses, particularly in retail, manufacturing and services, are struggling to find workers to fill vacancies while JobSeeker remains elevated.

A government MP has backed suggestions the rate is hurting regional businesses ability to attract workers.

Under JobKeeper introduced in March, businesses on the wage subsidy were given flexible IR arrangements allowing them to vary an employees hours, role and location of work, in a bid to keep more people employed.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland senior industrial relations spokesman Michael O'Brien said if they ended in September, it would be a blow for business and could mean the difference between whether a worker is kept on or let go.

"It will really severely impact businesses ability to adjust to changes to work forced by the pandemic," Mr O'Brien said.

"They could be forced to choose, do you have two part-timers who are flexible, or make someone redundant or hire casuals for the next six months."

He said there were also issues with employers in regional areas, particularly in manufacturing, retail and hospitality, struggling to find workers.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said he had spoken employers struggling to fill unskilled or lower-paid roles.

"They have numerous vacancies they can't fill because of JobSeeker," he said.

"Employers into the future will rightly be scrutinising the conduct of employees throughout this event to see whether they were loyal employees or whether they're taking advantage of a necessary, but generous payment from the Government.

"As an employer, I would be giving serious consideration on whether I would employ someone who could have worked, but didn't work, into the future."


Originally published as 'More Qld jobs will go' if JobSeeker pain not addressed