This afternoon the Federal Government announced the JobKeeper Payment, designed to help businesses continue to employ workers even as their businesses are impacted by the Coronavirus.
Below is our summary from the announcement and the Fact Sheet provided by Treasury.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Federal Government to continue paying their employees. Eligible employers 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.
Payments will start from 1 May 2020, but will be backdated to the date of the announcement (20 March 2020).
An employer will be eligible if their business turnover is reduced by more than 30% (or 50% for businesses with turnover in excess of $1b). From the fact sheet, the reference period for the turnover drop must be at least a month in duration and a be a comparable period a year ago.
Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and sole traders that meet the turnover tests are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are employees who:
- Are currently employed (including those stood down or re-hired);
- Were employed 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 Special Category Visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa holder; and
- Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
Businesses can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper payment on the ATO website here: www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/.
Eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme via an online application. They will be required to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
They must ensure that the employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. If an employee currently receives less than this amount, it will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Businesses without employees (such as sole traders), will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.
If you want to know more about the JobKeeper Payments you can register your interest with the ATO on their website here.