29 March 2021
Legal Aid Queensland’s civil justice team is preparing for the end of JobKeeper, JobSeeker and the banking moratorium and are encouraging people to be proactive with any problems they may have.
Principal lawyer Loretta Kreet said the team is expecting calls from people after the end of JobKeeper who lose their jobs, or they can’t pay their debts if they have lost their jobs.
“This group – those who have lost their jobs at the end of JobKeeper– is where we’re expecting a lot of calls from, people also may be concerned about their reduced shifts at the end of JobKeeper and their entitlements.” Ms Kreet said.
“If these people feel they have been unfairly dismissed or made redundant because of JobKeeper finishing, they will need legal advice quickly as there are strict time limits when it comes to employment laws.
“We’re also expecting calls from people with loans or mortgages who have been relying on the bank moratorium to get back on their feet financially after the COVID lockdowns.”
“We’ve already heard through our networks some banks are asking people to pay their arrears in larger portions or in lump sums, which is causing financial stress,” Ms Kreet said.
“Other calls the team is expecting are from borrowers whose hardship arrangements on loans are coming to an end – these are people who were already experiencing financial stress and had made hardship arrangements with their lenders before COVID hit.
“Many people will also be concerned about how their credit reports may look because they took advantage of hardship arrangements their lenders offered them.
“When it comes to any grey areas, all we can do is encourage people to call us and ask questions, as for some cases, especially employment, strict time limits can apply so it’s important to get advice early.”
Ms Kreet said Queenslanders affected by any of these changes can contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88 or Financial Counsellors on 1300 007 007 for free legal advice.
Amanda Catania (07) 3917 0407 or m 0413 001 039
Caroline Page (07) 3017 0406 or m 0403 182 309