Media Release 24 March 2020

A statement from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

We are deeply concerned about skyrocketing numbers of workers queuing long hours to get unemployment benefits, many of whom are registering for the first time.

The Federal Government has acted quickly to ensure people who have been made redundant have access to increased financial support.

The Victorian Chamber urges the Government to also allocate funding to employers where there is an opportunity to keep employees connected to the business, rather than an unemployment queue.

It’s tough for everyone, but business can only bounce back at the end of this crisis if the business remains alive and employees stay connected.

The Victorian Chamber calls for businesses to receive a lifeline from Government that keeps their staff connected, and we intend to keep the light on for business and employees through this period.

If businesses are supported to keep their staff engaged, even if this means on a part-time basis, it would have better outcomes than workers becoming full-time unemployed.

We want Victorian business to recover and be strong again on the other side of this crisis, and they can only do that with a fit and healthy workforce.

We are very concerned about the devastating impact of potentially months of unemployment on workers and entrepreneurs’ health and how it may affect their re-entry into the workforce. For some, unemployment as a result of COVID-19 may be permanent.

Following this crisis, recovery will be almost impossible with a disconnected workforce who have been cut off from the employers, colleagues and their normal working lives for many months.
We should look to NZ, UK and the Netherlands as examples of economic measures that clearly stand with business and employees.

Media Contact

All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager

03 8662 5310

0423 883 945

media@victorianchamber.com.au

For all other enquiries please contact the Victorian Chamber on 03 8662 5333

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