Labor has attacked the Morrison government's decision to suspend parliament because of coronavirus ahead of a special sitting to pass a record-breaking stimulus package.
Federal parliament will sit next Wednesday to pass the $130 billion in wage subsidies, giving businesses $1500 fortnightly payments for each worker employed.
So far 532,000 businesses have registered for the JobKeeper payment.
But aside from the one-off meeting, parliament isn't due to be recalled until August, with the government postponing sittings due to the pandemic.
Lower house manager of opposition business Tony Burke said it was extraordinary to have no parliamentary oversight of government spending during the crisis.
"The parliament should be sitting now," he told Sky News on Thursday.
"Now more than ever parliament should be sitting. People are in a situation where there's a crisis and they want to be able to know government is fully accountable."
Labor will support the wage subsidy legislation but has flagged it may try to pass amendments to improve the program's reach for casual workers.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been working with Labor on the draft laws, and has another meeting lined up with them on Thursday evening.
Mr Morrison says parliament will be called back when needed, but that MPs have more important work to do in their communities.
"Their phones are running hot every day," he told reporters in Canberra.
"Their community needs them because they are local leaders who can help lead their communities through what will be the very difficult months ahead."
But the Institute of Public Affairs agrees with Labor, saying parliament should sit.
IPA's research director Daniel Wild says parliament sat during WWII when soldiers were fighting for freedom and liberal democracy.
"Closing parliament because of a virus is a shocking betrayal of Australia's Anzac legacy," he said.
Between 50 and 60 lower house MPs will meet in Canberra next week, with a logistical nightmare looming.
Mr Burke said some MPs would have to enter quarantine after returning home given border restrictions in some states.
The Greens as well as legal and civil society groups are calling for a parliamentary committee to scrutinise the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
"Given the eye-watering amounts of public money being spent, the major changes to Australian law and people's lives, as well as the potential for unintended consequences, it's vital that we have an opportunity to scrutinise the government's actions," leader Adam Bandt says.
Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer Alice Drury said decisions needed to be constructively scrutinised.
Labor has asked the national audit office to scrutinise the government's multi-billion dollar coronavirus response, arguing its oversight is more important than ever, given federal parliament is scarcely sitting.
Australian Associated Press