JobKeeper extension a critical lifeline, but more targeted support needed: BECA

Australia’s business events industry has welcomed the extension of the JobKeeper payment, but warns that more support is needed to save the sector.

On Wednesday, the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) released the results of an industry-wide survey that showed JobKeeper was supporting up to 96 per cent of industry businesses to retain employees.

According to BECA, the survey indicates that around 110,000 employees across the industry were being supported by JobKeeper.

The survey also shows that 75 per cent of respondents have staff who have been made redundant, stood down or on reduced hours, and 67 per cent noted they have no business for 2020, with 48 per cent reporting they had no business booked for 2021 either.

More than half (52 per cent) of businesses said they may recover within one to two years, while more than 40 per cent are looking at a three- to five-year recovery.

BECA chair Dr Vanessa Findlay said the survey shows that businesses in the industry are struggling and that recovery will be “a hard and a long slog”.

“Though JobKeeper has helped the industry maintain critical capacity and capability among our workforce, the nature of our industry means that without events being held, thousands of casuals have been forced out of work, which we deeply regret,” she said.

BECA has called for targeted government support that will build confidence and create momentum for people to get back to in-person business events.

“As an industry, we want to emerge from the crisis in a position to help build business confidence across the Australian economy and, when the time is right, grow Australia’s share of global events in what will be a highly competitive and disrupted market,” she said.

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