The Federal Government has announced a $130b JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses.
On 30th March, the Government announced the “JobKeeper” payment scheme. This payment scheme is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.
The JobKeeper payment is $1500 per employee per fortnight for employers who meet the eligibility critera. The payment will be backdated to 30th March 2020. The payments are to commence in May and will continue for up to six months.
Employers must pay each employee that it receives payments for at least $1500 (before tax) per fortnight. Employers are not required to pay SGC on these payments as long as the worker is not performing any services for this payment, they can however can elect to do so. These payments must be reported by the employee as income.
Eligible employers may claim the payments if:
- the annual turnover of their business is either:
- less than $1 billion and has reduced by more than 30%; or
- more than $1 billion and has reduced by more than 50%
The annual turnover reduction is determined relative to a comparable period a year ago of at least a month; and
- the employer was in an employment relationship with eligible employee as at 1st March 2020 and confirms that the eligible employee is currently engaged with the business
Not-for-profit entities and self-employed individuals will be eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme provided they meet the above eligibility criteria.
Employees are eligible employees if they meet all of the following criteria:
- were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
- are currently employed by the eligible employer – this includes employees that have been stood-down, dismissed or made redundant and rehired
- are full-time, part-time or long-term casuals – a long-term casual is a casual employee that has been employed for at least 1 year on a regular basis as at 1 March 2020
- are at least 16 years of age
- are an Australian citizen, permanent visa holder, Protected Special Category Visa Holder, or a New Zealand citizen in Australia holder a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
- are not receiving a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
Employees who receive the Payment may no longer receive payments from Services Australia as the Payment must be reported by the employee as income.
Employers who intend to claim the payments should register their interest with the ATO. Please click the following link to register your interest:
Further information in relation to this scheme will become available once the legislation has passed.
If you require assistance reviewing your eligibility or determining whether your employees meet the criteria please contact our office.