What is the JobKeeper Payment? Am I eligible?
The Government recently announced the JobKeeper measures to support businesses paying wages to employees.
We've gathered some information to help you understand these measures. We'll go over what the payment is, who is eligible and how you receive the payment.
What is the JobKeeper payment?
The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme by the Australian Government during the coronavirus.
It aims to help employers pay wages and continue to employ staff.
The Government will give businesses $1,500 per fortnight per employee as part of the measures for up to 6 months.
If an employer chooses to participate in the scheme, their employees will receive the payment as below:
For an employee with an ordinary income of $1,500 or more per fortnight before tax, they continue to receive their regular income (according to prevailing workplace arrangements). JobKeeper payments will help the employer by subsidising part or all of the employee's income.
For an employee with an ordinary income of less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, the employer is required to pay them the full $1,500 before tax provided by JobKeeper.
For employees that have been stood down, employers must pay them the full $1,500 before tax provided by JobKeeper
For employees that were employed on 1 March 2020 and subsequently ended employment but were then re-employed by the same employer, the employee will receive at least the minimum $1,500 provided by JobKeeper.
Who is eligible (employers)?
Employers are eligible for the payments if they meet the following:
Their business has an annual turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover for at least one month has dropped by more than 30%.
Or, their business has an annual turnover of more than $1 billion and their turnover for at least one month has dropped by more than 50%
Their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy
To determine whether a business has had a 30 (or 50) per cent drop in turnover, businesses are expected to show that their turnover has fallen the required amount over the relevant month or three months (depending on the reporting period of that business) compared to the turnover of the same period in the previous year.
For businesses who were not operating a year or whose figures from the previous year are unusual for whatever reasons, the Tax Commissioner will decide what additional information the business can give to prove that they have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19.
Finally, the employer must have been in an employment relationship with the eligible employees on 1 March 2020. The employee must also be still engaged to receive JobKeeper payments.
Who is eligible (employees)?
For an employee to be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments from their employers, they must meet the following:
They must be an Australian citizen, permanent visa holder, Protected Special Category visa holder, 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.
They are employed by the eligible employer (including anyone stood down or re-hired).
They were in an employment relationship by the employer on 1 March 2020.
They are a fulltime, parttime or longterm casual (employed on a regular basis for over 1 year as at 1 March 2020) worker
They are at least 16 years of age
They are not receiving a JobKeeper payment from another employer.
If an employee receives a JobKeeper payment through their employer, they might not be eligible for certain payments from Service Australia as JobKeeper payments must be reported as income.
Businesses without employees
Businesses who do not employ any staff, including self-employed businesses, are able to register their interest in applying for JobKeeper payments through the ATO from 30 March 2020.
Businesses without employees will need to provide their ABN, nominate the individual receiving payments, provide the individual's TFN and provide a declaration/report about their business' recent activity.
Self-employed people will need to give the ATO a month update to prove continued eligibility for JobKeeper payments. Payments will be made monthly, directly to the individual.
When do the payments start?
The subsidy began on 30 March 2020. First payments are to be received by employers in the first week of May.