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Premier Investments to return $15.6m in JobKeeper

After months of pushing against paying back $15.6 million in JobKeeper funds received last year, Premier Investments has now deemed it appropriate to return the money to the ATO on the grounds it was never used.

Due to the massive spike in sales and profit the business has enjoyed Premier has been able to keep its staff paid and supported, and put the Government granted money aside to help workers through further lockdowns or threats to their wage rather than paying it back, as other businesses had begun to do.

But now that macro-economic trading conditions have stabilised, the business is comfortable returning the handout – though there is no legal requirement for it do so.

“The Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper initiative has been fundamental to Australia’s world leading economic growth during this once in a century global health crisis reflected in the very high level of consumer confidence and strong employment growth,” the business said in a release to the ASX.

“Premier is confident in its ability to meet current market consensus of Premier Retail’s FY21 EBIT of $318 million.”

Last month the businesses Just Group reportedly found itself under investigation over compliance issues related to $70 million it took in JobKeeper funds, according to SMH.

According to the report, Just Group said it had “fully complied with all its legal obligations throughout the entire JobKeeper period”, but there have been questions raised about how the business paid its staff during public holidays while they were stood down.

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