Students aged 16 and 17 with part-time jobs will be eligible for up to $4500 of JobKeeper money, but from May 11 payments for that group will be turned off.
The changes were confirmed by the Tax Office on Monday and are designed to avoid a bumper cash boost to school students for the next six months.
The government initially announced that 16 and 17-year olds were eligible for JobKeeper, and confirmed that applied even to students who worked one shift a week for pocket money. The decision gave young people in that situation a significant boost to their pay because the JobKeeper wage subsidy is a flat $1500 a fortnight, no matter how many hours are worked.
The only condition is that someone must be part-time or, if they are casual, have been with the same employer for a year.
But 10 days ago Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced changes to the scheme, including barring 16 and 17-year-olds unless they live independently from their parents or are only studying part-time.
On Monday, the Tax Office clarified the changes. It said 16- and 17-year-olds qualify until May 11. After that they continue to qualify only if they are independent or not in full-time study.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows people under 20 and over 70 took the biggest hits to jobs and pay in the first week of April. In the week to April 4, the number of people aged 19 or under in jobs shrunk 8 per cent, and wages fell 7 per cent. People in their 20s took a hit almost as large, with jobs down 7.5 per cent and wages down 6 per cent for that group.
Over 70s saw the biggest drop in jobs and wages of any group, with jobs down 8.5 per cent and wages down 9 per cent in that group.
Also in his April 24 statement, Mr Frydenberg stressed that businesses are not allowed to choose some workers to get the payment without offering it to others.
He said under the "one-in, all-in principle", businesses must pay all staff the $1500, including workers who had been stood down.
"The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme," he said. "This "one-in, all-in" principle is already a key feature of the scheme and will be made clearer in the rule."
The Tax Office clarification issued this week said employers "are not meant to pick and choose between their eligible employees."
Businesses can still choose not to enter the scheme at all.
In the first week of April jobs fell 5.5 per cent and wages paid fell 5.1 per cent, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Cafes and other food businesses and accommodation were worst hit, with worker numbers down 19 per cent and wages down 18 per cent in that week.
Next was arts, events and sports, with a 13 per cent hit to jobs and a 9 per cent hit to wages.
Updated data will be released on Tuesday.
The government says it expected 6 million workers to receive the subsidy, which is in place for six months and will cost the budget $130 billion.
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