A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.
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JobKeeper encourages businesses to keep poor performing employees

A retailer contacted me yesterday with this scenario: three of their casuals are poor performers, too often unwilling to work, making many mistakes at work and disinterested in engaging with shoppers despite encouragement to do so.

The retailer would like to replace them with new employees, three of the many who have dropped their resumes off, keen for a job.

The challenge for the business is JobKeeper. Getting rid of the three poor performers would see the business lose JobKeeper for them and not have access to JobKeeper for three new hires.

The owner has spoken with Fairwork and the answers there are not black and white.

I suggested they performance manage the three dud employees, putting them through a documented process to seek improvement or to at least provide a documented and lawful pathway for their exit from the business.

That employees are able to be paid JobKeeper regardless off whether they actually work is a flaw in the system that needs addressing.

The additional workload and stress on small business retailers because of JobKeeper is an unintendended consequence for sure, but disappointing.


Join the discussion

  1. Jim

    A solution could be to move on the 3 keepers to seekers and replace with 3 seekers as makers. That would leave you 1.5k per week worse off, but with a more productive workplace and better customer experience.


  2. Mark Fletcher

    Yes, Jim, that’s what I said.


  3. Graeme Day

    Unfortunately this is the only poractical solution.

    Each new Quarter commencing this one, I think the changes behind the scenes will be significant..
    Many will dislike them as they have become accustomed to the hand out others will appreciate moves closer to “normal” life are being proposed.
    The future is still good, the pathway is a trial.


  4. Steve

    If their on jobkeeper then the employers put up with them for at least a year prior to April. Were they always shit employees? or are they one of the many on jobkeeper that feel that as the governments now paying their wage they owe the employer nothing.


  5. Mark Fletcher

    Steve, good question. They were okay prior to Covid and through the early months. Their disinterest has magnified in the last 2 months. As I noted, I think the business would benefit from them not being there.


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