Under the $130 billion plan, which was announced today, businesses substantially impacted by the coronavirus can claim the fortnightly wage subsidy to help pay employee's wages for at least six months. 

Eligible businesses will receive $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight. There will be a legal obligation to ensure these employers pass on the full wage subsidy to eligible employees. The ATO has released a guide for employers for more details on eligibility requirements.

Employers that are eligible to receive the $1,500 fortnightly payments include:

  • Businesses with a turnover of less than $1 billion that have a reduction in revenue of 30% or more since March 1 
  • Businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more that have a reduction in revenue of 50% or more since March 1

Businesses that are subject to the major bank levy - ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, Macquarie and Westpac - are excluded. 

Eligible employees for the wage subsidy include: 

  • Full-time workers
  • Part-time workers
  • Sole traders
  • Casuals who have been with their employer for at least 12 months
  • New Zealanders on 444 visas
  • Not-for-profit entities

Looking for a place to store cash? Below are a handful of 6-month term deposits with some of the highest interest rates in the market.

Update resultsUpdate
BankTerm DepositInterest Rate Interest Frequency Term Automatic Rollover Maturity Alert Early Withdrawal Available Minimum Deposit Maximum Deposit Notice Period to Withdraw Online Application Joint Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
5.25% p.a.
Annually, At Maturity
6 months
$5,000
$5,000,000
7 days
Featured
  • Interest calculated daily and paid at end of term
  • Monthly interest available for terms over 12 months
  • For deposit amounts $5,000 - $2,000,000
5.20% p.a.
At Maturity, Annually
6 months
$5,000
$1,000,000
Featured
  • Guaranteed rate of return
  • Manage your term deposit online
  • Choose your own term - Options range from one month to five years
5.30% p.a.
At Maturity, Monthly
6 months
$25,000
$1,000,000
31 days
5.25% p.a.
Annually, At Maturity
6 months
$1,000
$500,001
31 days
5.20% p.a.
At Maturity
6 months
$1,000
$1,000,000
8 days
5.25% p.a.
At Maturity
6 months
$1,000
$1,000,000
31 days
  • Deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account
  • Added loyalty bonus of 0.10%
5.05% p.a.
At Maturity, Annually
6 months
$25,000
$10,000,000
31 days
5.00% p.a.
At Maturity
6 months
$100,000
$200,000
5.00% p.a.
At Maturity
6 months
$500
$1,000,000
31 days
5.10% p.a.
Annually, Semi-Annually, At Maturity, Monthly
6 months
$5,000
$99,999,999
5.00% p.a.
At Maturity, Annually
6 months
$5,000
$24,999
31 days
5.00% p.a.
Annually, At Maturity
6 months
$1,000
$2,000,000
31 days
More term deposits
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

From today, businesses eligible for the wage subsidy will be able to apply to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) via the ATO's JobKeeper page which means that employers will not have to deal with Centrelink to access the funds.

The fortnightly $1,500 payment will start to be issued from the first week of May and will be backdated to today.

If employees have been stood down by their employer since March 1, they are still eligible for these payments. 

The subsidy is around 70% of the median wage, and 100% of the median wage in the most heavily hit sectors like retail and hospitality.

As of 7pm March 30, over 30,000 businesses have applied for the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged workers who have already been stood down to "ring up their employer". He also stressed people can not access both the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper payments.

The $130b wage subsidy is expected to last for six months for an estimated six million Australians whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described the subsidy as more generous than similar measures in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

"Our wage subsidy scheme for Australia is unlike those of other nations," he said.

"It is more generous to New Zealand's scheme, it is broader than the United Kingdom's scheme. Our scheme is uniquely Australian, with every eligible employee receiving the same wage subsidy."

Mr Frydenberg said the wage subsidy is designed to help businesses bounce back once the pandemic is over.

"The announcement today is all about providing additional income support and keeping employees connected to their employer, because once we get to the other side of this we want the recovery as speedy as possible," he told ABC News Breakfast.

Looking for a place to stash some cash? Below is a snapshot of some of the highest interest rates being offered on "Intro Rate" savings accounts. 

Update resultsUpdate
BankSavings AccountBase Interest Rate Max Interest Rate Total Interest Earned Introductory Term Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Minimum Monthly Deposit Minimum Opening Deposit ATM Access Joint Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
4.40% p.a.
5.75% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 4.40% p.a.
$533
4 months
$0
$250,000
$0
$0
Featured
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
1.20% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.20%
Conditions apply.
5.40% p.a.
$546
$0
$250,000
$1,000
$0
Featured
  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money
4.75% p.a.
5.35% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 4.75% p.a.
$518
4 months
$0
$249,999
$0
$0
Featured
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
2.85% p.a.
3.35% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 2.85% p.a.
$319
4 months
$0
$49,999
$0
$0
Featured
  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.
0.55% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.95%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$0
$100,000
$1,000
$0
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
0.10% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.00%
Conditions apply.
5.10% p.a.
$515
$0
$250,000
$200
$0
No monthly fees
  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
0.55% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.00%
Conditions apply.
5.55% p.a.
$561
$0
$100,000
$2,000
$0
0.10% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.40%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$1
$25,000
$200
$1
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.45%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$0
$50,000
$1,000
$0
For customers aged 14-35 years
0.50% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.85%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$541
$1
$50,000
$500
$1
  • Maximum Age - 24
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.30%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$541
$0
$250,000
$1,000
$0
0.30% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.95%
Conditions apply.
5.25% p.a.
$531
$0
$100,000
$$formattedMinMonthlyDep.format("%,d",$!{product.minimumMonthlyDeposit})
$1
More savings accounts
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Mr Frydenberg said that in return for the wages being paid, businesses are expected to keep their staff employed during the pandemic.

"At the end of the day we want Australian businesses and their employees to get to the other side intact,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“And that’s why we’re looking at this wage subsidy measure because it’s all about ensuring there’s a connection between the employer and the employee through what is a very difficult time.

“There are legal obligations for that to occur. And of course our focus here is supporting the employee who has done it very, very tough and obviously needs that security, needs that surety that they will continue to get that income support."

Mr Morrison had previously ruled out a UK-style wage subsidy which involves paying up to 80% of a person's wage.

"We've been very careful to ensure that income support can be delivered in a way that gets it to people as quickly as possible using the existing systems that we have," Mr Morrison said.

"It's not a matter of just cutting and pasting ideas from other places."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday the new scheme would form part of his Government's third economic assistance package which would be "bigger than anything you have so far seen".





Ready, Set, Buy!


Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy