Income Support

TI can be casual employees or contractors or a combination of both. They often work for multiple employers and clients.

If you are an employee working predominently for one employer on a regular basis, and you have been stood down or not working at all, then you should talk to your employer about JobKeeper. Conditions include employment with that employer for more than 12 months as at March 2020.

If you work mostly as a contractor under your ABN then you can register your interest in JobKeeper as a sole trader. Eligibility is subject to conditions.

If you find yourself unemployed altogether or your income has dropped below the Centrelink threshold, then you should look into your eligibility for JobSeeker.

JobSeeker Payment and Coronavirus Supplement

On the 22 March the Federal Government announced changes to Newstart (now named JobSeeker payment) and the introduction of a Coronavirus Supplement.

This is effectively an unemployment benefit payable under specific conditions in response to COVID-19. JobSeeker is subject to Centrelink’s income test.  JobSeeker is available through Centrelink. You don’t have to attend Centrelink to apply.

We have sourced a helpful step-by-step guide to JobSeeker

Read the ACTU's fact sheet on the JobSeeker Payment


A payment available to employers to assist them in continuing to pay wages to their employees who have been stood down as a consequence of the Coronavirus

Right now, JobKeeper does not help all workers and is only available in specific circumstances.

JobKeeper has yet to be enacted and will be voted upon by Parliament this Wednesday 8th April 2020.

The union movement has and is continuing to lobby for a more universal minimum wage subsidy for all workers.

Read the ACTU's key points on the JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper scheme gives affected businesses a standard $1,500 per fortnight per employee to help pay their wages for six months. It is the employers who need to apply for the wage subsidy in order to pay their workers who have been stood down during the Coronavirus crisis.

However, for employers to be eligible they have to demonstrate that their business has experienced at least 30% decrease in turnover as a result of COVID-19.

If you are an employee on a regular arrangement with an employer, you need to contact your employer about JobKeeper. You can only receive JobKeeper Payment from one employer.

Sole Traders

Contractors could be considered sole traders or self-employed.

If you are self-employed you will need to register your interest in applying for the JobKeeper payment via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

You will need to demonstrate the 30% decline in your turnover as a result of COVID-19. You will need to rely on your income pattern using your accounts (accounting systems, invoices, remittances). You may need to seek assistance from your accountant.

If you think you could be eligible, register your interest.

Remember, if you receive the JobKeeper payment, this will qualify as income when it comes to calculating any other payments you might be receiving For more general information about COVID-19 and the Workplace: