The coming months will be difficult for Australian workers, with job losses on the horizon because of coronavirus, the prime minister has warned.
Scott Morrison is ironing out the finishing touches on a second stimulus package in response to the pandemic, which he hopes will "cushion the blow" caused by the virus.
He said some Australians would be out of work or have less work over coming months.
"That's going to happen to quite a number of people," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Friday.
"It will be a difficult and different time. People who have never known themselves to be out of work will be confronted in some cases with that prospect.
"And we want to make sure that we can help them as best as we can through what will be a difficult period for them and their family."
Mr Morrison said the government was working with landlords, flagging possible measures to help tenants who will struggle to pay rent.
Limits on gatherings to slow the spread of the virus have dealt a blow to the hospitality industry, putting many workers in jeopardy.
The government announced new limits on indoor gatherings - one person for every four square metres - saying everyone had to play their part in slowing the spread.
As outlined in the first stimulus package, welfare recipients and pensioners will get a $750 one-off payment to help ease financial stress caused by the virus.
Labor says casual workers, particularly in the hospitality and events industries, as well as sole traders, need a helping hand while the sector suffers.
New polling shows about half (52 per cent) of Australians think the rate of the unemployment benefit should temporarily increase during the health crisis, so it's in line with the aged pension.
The Australia Institute poll also shows about one in three Australians disagree with the temporary boost.
For a single person the aged pension is about $300 more per fortnight than Newstart, now known as the JobSeeker payment.
The JobSeeker allowance will progressively fold seven types of assistance into one and replace Newstart as the main welfare payment for working-age jobless people.
Newstart and some wife pension recipients were automatically transferred to the new payment on Friday.
Sickness allowance recipients will be asked to attend transition appointments before making the switch.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the vast majority of people transferred to the JobSeeker payment would not have to do anything, and would not notice any change to their income support, concession card or mutual obligations.
JobSeeker recipients will still receive the energy supplement and remain eligible for other payments.
The JobSeeker payment will be available to people who are looking for work, cannot work or study due to sickness or injury, or have recently lost their partner.
Australian Associated Press
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