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$130 Billion JobKeeper Payments


Background on JobKeeper payment

Businesses, charities and not for profit entities impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers who have had their revenue fall at least 30% (50% for businesses with revenue greater than $1 billion), will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

Obligations on employers

To receive the JobKeeper payment, employers must:

  • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
  • Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
  • Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer, then their income will not change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more than this amount, the employer can provide them with a top-up.
  • Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO every month, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.

Eligible employers

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  1. Their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion, and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month), or their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more, and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month), and the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
  2. The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020,
  3. Confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.

Eligible employees

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • Are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or rehired);
  • 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);’
  • 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.

Application process

Businesses with employees can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via from 30 March 2020. Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.

The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO. Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest with the ATO.