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Stood down Qantas workers can claim new benefits

written by Adam Thorn | March 23, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed Qantas stood down workers will be available to claim the extra financial aid announced on the weekend.

Speaking to the ABC’s David Speers on Sunday night, the Prime Minister said, “They will get access to the double jobseeker payment. They will get the ability to access their own superannuation savings of up to $20,000 over the next six months.”

The second rescue package, worth $66 billion, lets workers access essentially twice the current JobSeeker, previously Newstart, allowance. The new time-limited coronavirus supplement will be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next six months, costing $14.1 billion.

Eligible income support recipients will receive the coronavirus supplement on top of their normal payments. Depending on family circumstance, some will be able to claim a maximum of $1,340.10.

The extra payment will be available to both new and existing recipients of the jobseeker payment, youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit.


For more information, see the government’s announcement here.

In addition, those “in financial stress” will be able to access two sets of $10,000 from their superannuation, one across the 2020 and 2021 financial year.

It’s thought this will include those made redundant or those that have had their working hours reduced by 20 per cent.

Eligible individuals can apply through the myGov website.

The Prime Minister said, “We want to help businesses keep going as best they can and for as long as they can, or to pause instead of winding up their business. We want to ensure that when this crisis has passed Australian businesses can bounce back.

“Our focus is on cushioning the blow and providing hope to every Australian that we will get through this and come out the other side together.

Staff and families at Qantas 90th anniversary celebrations in 2011. (Seth Jaworski)

“We know this will be temporary. That’s why all our actions are geared towards building a bridge, keeping more people in work, enhancing the safety net for those that aren’t and keeping businesses alive so they can get to the other side and stand up their workforce as quickly as possible.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the $189 billion economic support package was the equivalent of 9.7 per cent of GDP.

Frydenberg said, “The government is taking unprecedented action to strengthen the safety net available to Australians that are stood down or lose their jobs and increasing support for small businesses that do it tough over the next six months.

“These measures build significantly on what we have already announced. These extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

The new $189 billion fund includes the $17.6 billion for the government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in today’s economic support package.

Last week, Qantas announced two-thirds of its workforce would be stood down.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said, “The efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.

“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than $4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.”

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Comments (13)

  • Peter Ehrler


    Workers will be able to access two sets of $10,000 from their superannuation, one across the 2020 and 2021 financial year. Great!!!!!! and when they reach the pension age, the money will be missing. How irresponsible of the Government. They are not helping the workers, they are driving them into poverty at a later stage of life.

  • Matt


    Well I’m a stood down Qantas Grouo employee & I’m NOT able to get any Centrelink benefits…typically wrong statement/story…they’ve dropped the asset test but not the income test.

  • Shuggie


    Back in the seventies or eighties, there was a non alcoholic pretend drink that appeared on the market called “Claytons”
    It was heavily advertised as, “Claytons!…the drink you have when you are not having a drink” naturally, it was a big flop.
    It appears that Qantas now has a “Claytons” workforce….you know,…the “workforce you have when you don’t have any workers”
    Considering redundancies would cost too much, Qantas can now have their cake and eat it too, with plenty more coming to the shareholders in September,….have they no shame?

  • Shuggie


    Keeping in mind that airport ground staff are working at the front lines, has any of them ever been tested for the coronavirus considering that many of them could be asymptomatic? (carriers, but not showing any, or little symptoms)

    • james


      Obviously not enough test kits. Not sure why. They can’t be that hard to make, or do they only get made in China these days ?

      • Shuggie


        James, I assume if someone tested positive, they would avoid being stood down as they would be able to take their sick leave, maybe they are reluctant to test for this reason, just a concerned thought.

  • john


    what is so special about Qantas workers ? answer NOTHING !!!

    Millions of Australians are out of work.

    Go on airtasker. Find some work or get off your butt & do something/anything. Stop whinging. Ten million people are in same boat.

    So you won’t get some overpaid job you had at Qantas. Those days are probably over.

    Get used to it.

    • Matt



      My comments above were not about crying poor, I was just highlighting that the story is incorrect. We are not all being given access to benefits.

  • Monirul Sheikh


    Like it or not, Virgin is by far a superior product than Qantas; and this is where Qantas obsessed CEO has expressed himself so lowly which is very much unbecoming of a Qantas CEO. This is a total leadership failure. Until & unless we have an immediate replacement of him, QANTAS brand will vanish just like we lost HOLDEN.

    He is not loyal to Australia and the institutional investors are happy with him because he has been able to bring profit to them at the cost of destruction of an aviation institution, piece by piece, deliberately.

  • Monirul Sheikh


    Above is a great photo, but what it does not tell you is are those thousand words. How morality is being destroyed piece by piece deliberately by design. Qantas had the potential to lead the world in every field of aviation today. But it was dismantled piece by piece and maintenance workload was transferred deliberately to cheap & unsafe place and corruption tool deep root. This is a sabotage to Australian pride.

  • Craig


    Once again Qantas having a whinge the article didn’t mention the other airlines that are in the same situation

  • Daniel


    Yeah pretty sure most other Australian airlines did not stand down over 20,000 employees. Well regardless on personal thoughts on Qantas, it’s one of this countries most iconic brands, it’s the world’s longest continually serving airline, its the worlds safest airline, so for those wondering why its getting so much attention, that’s why?!
    Not to mention 20,000 people is a high number for one company to stand down not to mention with no real notice?!

    Many of Australians were already unemployed before this virus, these like many others whom were hard workers earning a living to support their families and through no fault of their own , and no real notice, was all gone!! Yes, exactly, we aren’t the only people going through this, but we certainly aren’t the ones claiming that other companies in the same boat should just get over it …. oh yeah and Overpaid salaries?!?! Yeah right …. clearly someones never worked as a crew member for the company …

  • Brian Richard Allen


    …. Morrison says his mob wants to ensure that when the Wuhan-Virus crisis has passed Australia’s businesses may ” bounce back.” ….

    Yair. “Bounce back” is spot on. Bounce on the backs of Australia’s burden bearers. Its Taxpayers. As yet another bunch of Canberra lefties enters the competition, eternal, internationally, among their ilk, to see if it can be history’s first ever government to tax its citizens into prosperity — and its businesses into viability.

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