La Trobe U urges staff to apply for JobKeeper payment

The university expects to lose so much money it will be able to keep staff

VC John Dewar tells the university community that qualifying for the feds’ JobKeeper programme, “could go a long-way to mitigating the COVID-19 staffing measures we are currently discussing with the National Tertiary Education Union.”

Professor Dewar says “the vast majority” of LT U staff will meet requirements for the six month $1500 per fortnight payment. The payment would go toward meeting staff members existing salaries. Casual staff now expecting to lose all their work from May 1 would also receive the payment.

To qualify for JobKeeper employers with up to $1bn turnover must be down by 30 per cent on revenue.

“Recent analysis of the current ATO published guidelines means La Trobe does indeed qualify as an eligible employer,” Professor Dewar says.  He appears to be getting similar advice as Bond U’s Tim Brailsford, who also thinks his institution can qualify (CMM April 14).

Professor Dewar urges, “ALL eligible staff (to) nominate La Trobe as their employer.”

“It is very important to the university’s financial sustainability and our ability to preserve employment as much as possible.”

The VC tells staff the university faces a “revenue deficit challenge” of $150m, with projected savings so far at $65m. An estimated $50m in Job Keeper payments, “would make a significant difference.”

“While we cannot rule out the possibility of a last-minute change to the eligibility requirements, confirmation by the Australian Taxation Office of La Trobe’s eligibility for the JobKeeper payment scheme would be of enormous financial assistance to La Trobe,” Professor Dewar adds.