The Fork: Know your rights on JobKeeper – Miles Heffernan

1800forked miles heffernan worker advocate ir claims job keeper

In another example of an employer exploiting the JobKeeper wage subsidy, a hotel sacked a worker for refusing to work extra hours.

Emma Scealy worked front of house at Hobart’s Customs House Hotel for a year. In March, the hotel told staff it would determine which staff to keep during the coronavirus shutdown.

Management then told Scealy she could stay and receive the $750-a-week JobKeeper wage subsidy.

However, they also said in return they expected her to work 25 hours a week cleaning.

Emma told the ABC she never usually worked that many hours.

“I usually only work two or three shifts a week, so it would’ve been 10 to 15 hours more than my average.”

Scealy and four other front of house staff then asked if the extra hours were a requirement.

While none said they would refuse to clean, all five received a termination notice a few days later. That left Emma Scealy without an income.

“I’m not eligible for any government assistance so I now have no income. Luckily, I’ve got a bit of savings but… I’m running out of money fast.”

Customs House denied it sacked the five as a result of their questioning of the cleaning duties.


Prime Minster Scott Morrison’s office previously confirmed employers cannot demand staff work additional hours to receive JobKeeper.

Furthermore, employers cannot ask staff to do work outside of their skills, or outside of the business.

The Fair Work Commission confirmed an increase in unfair dismissal claims relating to JobKeeper.

In April, the Commission received 65% more applications than the same time last year.

If you feel your boss is screwing you at work, don’t take it lying down.

Call 1800 FORKED (1800367533) or visit

1800forked ir claims miles heffernan

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Miles Heffernan

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