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Businesses warned of JobKeeper’s hidden danger

Advocates are warning small businesses to beware of hidden pitfalls in government assistance packages.

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia CEO Peter Strong told George Moore there are a number of “zombie” firms among those he represents which will not emerge intact.

“They’re still open because they want to make sure their staff gets JobKeeper, but when JobKeeper stops they will close.

“We’ve got others that really feel they can stay open, but they’re going to have to restructure, they’re going to have to shed staff.”

Staff entitlements, he warned, could be the tipping point for many small businesses, with employees continuing to accrue annual leave.

“We’ve worked out that if you have 10 staff … and they’re on JobKeeper for six months, you’ll have on average a $40,000 holiday pay debt.”

Mr Strong went so far as to recommend businesses avoid taking on further government assistance in the meantime.

“Have a look at your balance book, how much money you’ve got … [and] how many staff you’ve got, and make sure you can cover those entitlements.”

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