Australian Business Bosses Urged to Forgo Bonuses

Australian Business Bosses Urged to Forgo Bonuses
A man looks at an electronic board displaying stock information at the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd. in Sydney, Australia on March 16, 2020. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott believes firms receiving JobKeeper for their staff shouldn’t be paying executives bonuses.

She also feels companies should be exercising some “very careful judgment” when paying dividends while receiving the wage subsidy.

But she was adamant bosses shouldn’t be paying themselves a bonus while their company gets the JobKeeper COVID-19 support measure.

“It wasn’t designed for that,” she told ABC television’s Insiders program on Sept. 6.

“It was designed to keep people working.”

But she said when it comes to companies paying dividends when they are receiving JobKeeper, it is more complicated.

She said dividends are usually part of a long-run policy of companies to their shareholders and many of these are self-funded retirees and mum and dad investors, as well as everybody through their superannuation.

“I would just urge those companies to really think about these decisions because we have to build community confidence,” Westacott said.

Westacott was also critical of the Victorian government’s plan to reopen the economy. Speaking ahead of the state’s eagerly awaited press conference concerning easing stage four restrictions, she said communication between the Victoria government and the business council could have been better.

“There has been consultation but it has not been good enough,” Westacott told ABC insider.

“It’s one thing to tell businesses, but it’s another thing to work with them.”

By Colin Brinsden
The Epoch Times contributed to this article.