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I'm a real estate salesperson in Melbourne and work on a debitable retainer. That is, the employer normally pays me a retainer which is paid back to him from my share of any commissions earned from sales. Now I am on Jobkeeper as a result of business downturn due to Covid.
My employer is stating that any Jobkeeper payments made to me will be deducted from commissions and kept by the employer as if it was him paying me. I understood that employers are not meant to retain any portion of an employees Jobkeeper payment for their own benefit.
It seems this fraudulent behaviour by real estate agents is wide spread across Australia. Fairwork Australia are aware of it. I believe that agents are taking their advice from REEF. Perhaps a class action through a law firm is required. The ATO have severe penalties for employers retain Jobkeeper payments for themselves, however seem unwilling to become involved in this blatant fraudulent activity by real estate agents.