Not out of the woods – Rishworth calls for support for ECEC jobs as JobKeeper ends
Yesterday’s cessation of JobKeeper payments for those employed in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector has left employees in the sector vulnerable, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development Amanda Rishworth has said.
While much of the country waits on announcements expected to be made later today in relation to the future of the JobKeeper program for those employed in other sectors and industries, JobKeeper has now ended for the ECEC sector, something Ms Rishworth dubbed a “cruel test case” for the early withdrawal of the wage subsidy.
The situation in Victoria, she added, has highlighted the risks of removing JobKeeper when Australia remains “in the midst of this crisis”.
With Victoria re-entering Stage 3 lockdown measures, and enforcing the wearing of masks outside of home, Ms Rishworth said there was “a substantial risk” that early learning services will close due to drop in demand or a potential government directive.
Should that occur, she continued, educators will be left facing financial uncertainty, highlighting that the crisis has not yet passed, and the removal of the subsidy for the sector was premature.
“The Government needs to ensure early educators do not lose their jobs as a result of the early withdrawal of JobKeeper,” Ms Rishworth concluded.