The announcement of the JobKeeper payments on Monday has come as a welcome relief to many employers & employees.  If legislation is enacted, support will be provided to employers to pass on to employees.  Further details are still be released, but here are the fundamentals of what we know so far:

Businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to will be able to claim $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee from 30 March 2020 for period up to 6 months, with first payments being made in first week of May.

To be eligible you need to show the business turnover has reduced by 30% (or 50% for businesses with turnover of $1billion or more) relative to a comparable period a year ago.  We are seeking clarity as to what this will mean for new business under a year old.

Eligible Employees

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020); Last updated: 30 March 2020
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

JobKeeper payments may impact your employees eligibility for other payments from Services Australia

Self Employed

Businesses without employees that meet the eligibility criteria, can nominate an individual to receive the $1,500 per fortnight payment (before tax).  People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account. 

What’s Next

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees receive, at a minimum, the full $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.  That is, if your employee usually receives $1,000 you will need to pass on the additional $500 before tax.  You will need to continue to met your superannuation obligations on ordinary wages, but Treasury have confirmed it is up to the employer if they chose to pay super on additional wages payable under the JobKeeper payments (ie. in above scenario super is payable on the $1,000 and optional on the additional $500).

Eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme via online application.  In the meantime you can register your business ‘ interest with the ATO to receive updates as they become available - https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/

If you need any assistance regarding eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment scheme, then please give us a call on 07 5413 9300.