‘No incentive’: Restaurateur says benefits stalling reopen
A PROMINENT Coolum restaurateur says JobKeeper has removed the incentive to return to work, making it a nightmare to try and revive his venue.
My Place Restaurant and Mezze Bar owner David Hadid said he'd been unable to return to full hours yet as it was proving so difficult to recruit a full complement of staff.
He said many weren't keen to return to work yet, with the uncertainty of casual hours, while they were pocketing the $1500 fortnightly government payment.
He said students and those on tourism visas were the only people responding to ads at the moment.
"It is frustrating," Mr Hadid said.
He said he had two full-time staff, but casuals were lucky to work 20-25 hours a week, making the JobKeeper payments more lucrative than the workforce.
Mr Hadid said he'd written to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations about the issues he was facing, which he said other businesses would also be struggling with.
He said it was making it hard for small businesses to reopen and if it was slow to recover from the pandemic, it would be tough to give enough hours to staff.
The veteran of more than 30 years in the hospitality industry said he'd had to reduce the restaurant to 50 per cent of its usual trading times as a result.
"People will be making so much off the government, why would they go back to work?" he said.
Data collected by Australian Development Strategies showed 470 jobs had been lost in the Coolum Beach area through the pandemic, resulting in a 7.92 per cent reduction in wages.
In a six-week period to mid-March, accommodation and food services jobs dropped by 25.4 per cent on the Sunshine Coast.
The 2016 Census indicated the sector had employed 13,648 people locally.
The JobKeeper scheme which had benefited about 3.5 million workers across the globe had been flagged as remaining in place until the end of September.
But the scheme was currently under review by Treasury, with results to be published on July 23.
Earlier this month Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced JobKeeper payments to childcare workers would end this month, and other sectors could face the same as part of the review.