Since the Federal Government’s announcement that new payments would be available for domestic airline workers, and Qantas Group’s decision to stand down 2,500 workers around the country the USU/ASU has asked for more information from Qantas  and the Government to provide staff with certainty.

We asked questions about:
•     Eligibility for the new payments;
•     How the payments will be paid;
•     How they interact with other payments.
We also raised concerns around employees who are receiving the International Readiness Payment which was only $500, and that those employees should receive the same amount of $750 as other employees.
Although the Government has STILL not finalised the details of the scheme and we are waiting for confirmation on some elements, Qantas has now confirmed some of the basics about how the payments will operate. We understand that all airport employees who are stood down will be able to access one of the following payments:
COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payment – $750 a week – apply through Centrelink

  • If you are in NSW or another Commonwealth declared hotspot you need to apply for this payment through Centrelink and have lost work due to the recent outbreaks (ie. were not already stood down) then you will need to apply for this payment through Centrelink.

International Readiness Payment – increased to $750 a week – paid by Qantas

  • This is for employees already receiving this payment. Following advocacy by the USU/ASU this will be increased to $750 to match the other payments being made available to other workers.

Domestic Readiness Payment – $750 a week – paid by Qantas

  • This is for workers who are not eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payment. Unfortunately you must go through Centrelink to get the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payment if you are in NSW or another Commonwealth designated hotspot.
  • If you are not eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payment and are stood down or take SLWOP, Qantas will make this payment to you.
  • The payment includes superannuation and tax.

 We have a further meeting with Qantas next week to work through further details, so please let your local delegate know if you have any questions.
JobKeeper now
The USU/ASU is concerned that the above scheme is very confusing for workers to navigate – some people need to go to Centrelink, others will be paid through Qantas. Plus the scheme leaves thousands of aviation workers without any payments at all.
This is why the USU/ASU has been arguing from the start that all workers should have access to a straightforward JobKeeper payment of the full $750 a week. This would mean no one is left out, and no one will fall through the cracks.

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If you have any questions about this email or need any assistance at work, please contact your USU organiser Thomas Russell on 0419 761 320 or via email at