AICD backs call for widespread wage subsidies

Sunday, 29 March 2020

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has today encouraged the Federal Government to deploy bold and innovative thinking on wage subsidies and further economic stimulus to counter the impacts COVID-19.

AICD Managing Director and CEO Angus Armour said “The scale and impact of COVID-19 disruption on Australians has been catastrophic, creating enormous challenges for people across the economy. Our membership in big and small businesses and the NFP sector are struggling to see through to the next day. They are worried about their staff and trying to find solutions to keep people employed in the face of economic and regulatory challenges."

Wage subsidy models applied in other countries vary from more limited schemes for stood-down workers (United Kingdom) to broader coverage for organisations facing revenue disruption (New Zealand).

“It is critical for Government to consider reforms that keep some level of momentum in business and the economy and retain as many Australians employed as possible”, said Mr Armour.

“Combined with a strong community safety net, wage subsidies can help more people and more organisations survive the economic impacts of this crisis.”

The AICD said it was essential that support measures cover all parts of the economy, recognising the impact of COVID-19 disruption across organisations in all sectors.

“Australia's not-for-profit (NFP) sector will carry a double-hit, facing funding disruption with unprecedented community demand. The Prime Minister has rolled out important mental health and domestic violence support today, which are welcome.”

“Making sure the NFP sector is captured in economic and employment measures is critical”, said Mr Armour.

"Government, business and community organisations must work together to lead Australia through this period. The collaboration this past week between the Government and groups including AiG, ACCI and the ACTU on critical initiatives and reforms will sustain the hopes of Australians that they will get through this crisis.”

Media Contact: Maegen Sykes 0439 167 567

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