In October, as part of the 2020–21 Budget, the government announced a new stimulus measure called the JobMaker Hiring Credit. The scheme is designed to encourage businesses to hire new employees – specifically, young people aged 16-35. This article explains why the focus on young people, how the scheme works and some tips you should consider before recruiting.
Why just young people?
The JobMaker scheme has not been without its critics – especially those wondering why only young people are included in the credit and those worried about whether or not older workers’ jobs could be at risk. The reasoning behind the plan is that youth unemployment is currently 13.9%, which is more than twice the general rate of unemployment (6.4%), and even before COVID, young people were more than twice as likely to be unemployed.
Also, there are some safeguards in place to ensure that the hiring credit creates a real job (and that other full-time workers are not being laid off):
- New hires must work a minimum of 20 hours per week
- There is an increase in the business’ total employee headcount from 30 September 2020; and
- Total payroll must be greater in the reporting period compared with the three months prior to 30 September 2020.
The JobMaker scheme
Eligible businesses can receive credit for any qualifying employees who are hired by 6 October 2021, for a maximum claim period of 12 months from their employment start date (with the scheme ending 6 October 2022).
Through the program, you can receive payments of up to:
- $200/week for each eligible new employee aged 16–29 years old (incl.)
- $100/week for each eligible new employee aged 30–35 years old (incl.)
A few other things to note about employer eligibility:
- You need to register for the scheme before the claim period due date of the first JobMaker period you’re filing a claim for.
- You can’t receive funds through both the JobMaker and the JobKeeper schemes at the same time.
- You only need to register once, but you must make a claim through your STP-enabled payroll software to prove that the employee has met the minimum hours requirements.
Please note there is eligibility criteria for the employee, too, which you need to be aware of.
Things to consider before hiring
If you need to add young employees at your business right now – and you should have Millennials on your team, regardless – the JobMaker credit may be a very timely resource. However, it still needs careful planning. Our most successful clients will tell you those good people are the foundation of any great business. No matter when you employ someone, you want to ensure that they’re going to be the right fit for both the position and for your company. Hiring the wrong person can also be very expensive, when you consider advertising, staff time needed for hiring, onboarding and training, etc.
So, whether you need to find someone right now or down the road, here are a few recommendations before beginning the recruitment process:
- Have a clear understanding of what the job role entails, including the requirements, necessary skills, personality traits and abilities, as well as who the person will report to and work with. Determine how skills will be assessed – for instance, if you want to give aptitude tests to anyone who meets your minimum requirements and thereby help whittle down your list of prospects.
- Create a detailed job description for both the employee and your team that can serve as the basis for your job ads, as well as the foundation for onboarding, training and future performance evaluations.
- If you don’t have a human resources department, determine who will be involved in the advertising, interview, selection and initial onboarding process.
- Write a job ad that incorporates the most important information from the job description, as well as information about salary, benefits, your company culture and how the job fits into the overall vision of the business. This is important because for many Millennial and Gen X candidates, your mission and purpose are often just as important as a good salary. Also, be very clear about how to apply and what the steps in the employment process will be.
- Establish a plan for bringing the new employee on board, so that he or she can hit the ground running, feel welcome and want to stay with you as your business grows.