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Changes to JobKeeper payment labelled a win-win for charities


27 April 2020 at 4:52 pm
Maggie Coggan
Community sector leaders say it will make a big difference during coronavirus


Maggie Coggan | 27 April 2020 at 4:52 pm


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Changes to JobKeeper payment labelled a win-win for charities
27 April 2020 at 4:52 pm

Community sector leaders say it will make a big difference during coronavirus

Charities will now be able to exclude government funding in the JobKeeper turnover test, opening up the support payment to more struggling organisations. 

The JobKeeper legislation passed early this month, making registered charities with a drop in turnover of 15 per cent or more eligible for the $1,500 a fortnight payment, designed to prop up organisations during coronavirus.

But a number of large charities raised concerns they would miss out on the payment as most of their revenue comes from government grants and funding, not fee-for-service operations such as op-shops and childcare centres.

In response, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced on Friday that charities would now have the option to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government revenue to access the payment.

“This will help to ensure that the eligibility of charities is not adversely affected where they are delivering significant services that are funded by government,” Frydenberg said. 

A number of large, multi-service organisations, including Anglicare Australia, Uniting Care and the St Vincent De Paul’s Society, welcomed the Federal government’s decision.

Anglicare Australia CEO Kasy Chambers told Pro Bono News the change would save organisations from standing down thousands of skilled staff in areas such as childcare and disability. 

“This means [organisations] can actually keep their staff, and redeploy them to working in areas such as supporting bushfire affected communities,” Chambers said. 

“And when things such as childcare services are able to get up and running again we’ll have those staff ready to go.” 

UnitingCare Australia national director Claerwen Little said the changes would help thousands of vulnerable people access vital community services during coronavirus.

“The community sector is playing a critical role in helping people get to the other side of this crisis. We will continue to innovate to ensure services are available and acknowledge the government’s commitment to do so as well,” Little said. 

“We congratulate the government for listening to charities that provide essential services to Australians.”

Sarah Davies, the CEO of Philanthropy Australia, also welcomed the decision and called on the philanthropic community to continue supporting struggling charities.  

“There has never been a more significant time for the philanthropic sector to step up and forward together, to support our grantees and our partners to continue to operate and deliver services for our communities,” Davies said. 

The first payment of the subsidy will be received by employers in the first week of May, back-dating from 30 March. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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One comment

  • Avatar cmhopkins1@gmail.com says:

    LOL – CHARITIES AND FINANCIAL TURNOVER……THE TWO DON’T COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER UNLESS A CHARITY IS DEFINED BY A BUSINESS THAT IS EFFECTED DIRECTLY BY PROFIT?

    I ASK HOW THESE CHARITIES ARE SO LARGE AND WIDESPREAD, BUT THE MOST SOMEONE IN POVERTY MAY GAIN FROM THEM IS FREE COUNSELING OR A VOUCHER OF $20 TO SPEND AT COLES. PERHAPS A BLANKET MAY BE OFFERED IF YOU CAN EXPLAIN HOW YOUR FINGERS OR EXTREMITIES HAVE NO FEELING ASIDE FROM THE PAIN OF NUMBNESS. THAT MINOR SCRATCHES TURN INTO LARGE WOUNDS THAT BECOME INFECTED OR TAKE A FEW MONTHS TO REACH THE POINT OF HEALING.
    CORONA VIRUS OR NOT – CHARITIES EARN HUGE GOVERNMENT FUNDING, DONATIONS AND TAX EXEMPTIONS.

    BUT I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE PHONE TO CONTACT THEM TO ONLY MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TIME. THEN SPEND THE TRAVEL TIME AND COSTS TO GET THERE AND BACK.

    I THEN HAVE TO SHOW THE REQUIRED IDENTIFICATION OF EXPOSURE TO POVERTY.

    WHICH THEN IS ASSESSED IN ORDER TO BE HANDED BASIC (VERY BASIC VOUCHERS FOR EG 1 PBS PRESCRIPTION A MONTH FOR FREE….WHEN I HAVE SEVERAL PRESCRIPTIONS FOR DISABILITY)

    I THINK TRANSPARENCY IS REQUIRED THROUGH SOCIAL PLATFORMS WHERE CENSORSHIP IS REMOVED. WHERE THE WORKINGS OF CHARITIES AND NON PROFIT COMMUNITY/GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS (ACTING INDEPENDENTLY OF THE GOV).

    ARE EXPLAINED AS TO HOW EXACTLY THE FREE MONEY IN INCREDIBLE SUMS, IS DISTRIBUTED THROUGH THESE SYSTEMS UNDER THEIR ADVERTISED BANNERS OF “NOT MAKING ANY PROFITS” – BUT HOW THEY DO USE MONEY FOR INCOME AND MARKETING LIKE PRIME TIME TELEVISION ADVERTS.

    HOW MANY DEATHS THROUGH HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH FORM EVEN SUICIDE STATISTICS, WILL IT TAKE TO OVERHAUL THE SYSTEM.

    AT THE LEVEL OF REGISTERING A COMPANY OR ORGANISATIONS AS ANY ONE OF THE NUMBER OF BUSINESSES, THAT ENTER THE INDUSTRY OF PROVIDING FOR THOSE SUFFERING FINANCIALLY – WHAT WOULD THE PENSION AND PEOPLE IN ONLY FINANCIAL HARDSHIP – NOT HARDSHIP/VIOLENCE/PRISON RELEASE – GO UP TO IF ALL SUPPORTS ABOVE HAD THEIR COMBINED FUNDING STOPPED FOR ONE YEAR.

    ALL THAT FUNDING APPLIED DIRECTLY IN TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS FOR THAT YEAR.

    WOULD MY $540 NET AS A DSP RECIPIENT GO UP TO $600 NET OR WOULD IT PERHAPS GO UP TO $1200- $3000 A FORTNIGHT.

    THEN i COULD PAY MY ELECTRICITY AND IF NEEDED FINANCIAL COUNSELOR OR LEGAL ADVICE ALONE. TO DIRECTLY ASSIST ME RETURNING TO WORK IF ACHIEVABLE IN 1-2 YEARS INSTEAD OF 20-30 YEARS AS THE GOVERNMENT IDEALLY WANTS BY THE CURRENT SYSTEM.

    THE GOVERNMENT IS PREVENTING REHABILITATION INTO THE WORK FORCE AND SOCIETY BY FEEDING THE WEALTH OF CHARITIES AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS!

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