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Lockdown To Take Toll On Melbourne Tech Companies

Tech companies based in Melbourne must be thanking their lucky stars for work from home set-ups put in place during the pandemic, but the latest lockdown is expected to still have an impact, especially on the city’s burgeoning start-up community.

The Australian Industry Group estimates the lockdown will cost employers up to $2.5 billion in direct and indirect costs and this time they’ll have to cope without the back-up of JobKeeper.

The Victorian lockdown is the first COVID-related economic shutdown since the JobKeeper wage schemes and other government business subsidies closed at the end of March.

The Victorian government has announced a $250 million business support package to assist those hit hardest by the state-wide snap lockdown.

But it has also delivered a scathing attack on the Federal Government, saying the commonwealth had forgotten Victorians in need.

Last week’s announcement plunged thousands of businesses and their employees into financial uncertainty.

That includes IT contractors and casual IT employees, some of whom may be working from home, but many have started returning to the office and their situation is uncertain.

Deloitte’s Digital Pulse for Australia report says Victoria has already experienced a slight decline in its IT workforce most likely a result of the strong economic impact of the second lockdown.

This is the fourth lockdown in the state which could discourage skilled IT staff from moving there or to move away and with tech companies crying out for skilled staff the situation is not welcomed by the industry.

The IT industry is a major employer in the Victorian capital employing over 30 percent of all IT professionals in Australia.

Melbourne hosts offices for some of the world’s biggest IT firms including Microsoft, SAP, Google, Cisco, IBM, and LinkedIn.

Start-ups such as Afterpay, Air Wallex and Culture Amp also have high profiles in the state capital.

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