JobKeeper gap-filling plan to help casuals, visa holders

WORKERS on temporary visas, including international students, and other employees not covered by the Federal Government's multibillion-dollar wage subsidy package have been thrown a lifeline in the NT.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner will on Thursday unveil the second stage of the Territory Government's $50 million Small Business Survival Fund, with measures specifically targeting hospitality, restaurant, tourism and entertainment businesses.

The latest stage of the survival fund, which is expected to save 10,000 Territory jobs, effectively "plugs gaps" in the Federal Government's $130 billion JobKeeper payment package.

This includes casuals and workers hired less than 12 months ago and temporary visa holders including international students.


The move is expected to be welcomed by business owners, with publican Jason Hanna saying he was "extremely grateful" to the NT Government for recognising the importance of skilled migrant workers to the Territory.

Worth $20 million, eligible businesses can now access fortnightly payments for a maximum of eight weeks to help cover regular costs like rent and utilities, and to make invoice payments.

The payments range between $1000 and $15,000 a fortnight depending on how many employees the business had prior to the national COVID-19 shutdown.

Under the Federal Government's JobKeeper payment, a business would receive $1500 a fortnight per employee.

It builds on last month's Immediate Survival Payments section of the initiative - a one-off lump-sum payment for businesses to help offset immediate costs and provide planning time worth between $2000 and $50,000.

Businesses that are eligible for an Immediate Survival Payment will automatically be eligible for the new fortnightly payments.

"We are plugging gaps in the Federal Government's package so no Territorian gets left behind," Mr Gunner said.

"Saving lives means we also need to save Territory jobs and businesses.

"I know businesses are doing it tough and people need a job to pay the bills.

"We know from what's happening interstate and overseas the pain isn't going to end overnight."

Originally published as Chief Minister announces $20 million JobKeeper gap-filling plan