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Recently the federal government announced that organisations who were significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic could access a temporary JobKeeper wage subsidy. The subsidy is designed to help businesses cover the costs of their employee’s wages and keep Australian workers in jobs. Through this scheme, around 6 million workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1,500.00 (before tax) through their employer. The program will commence on 30 March 2020 and end 27 September 2020.
Eligibility for JobKeeper
Employers are eligible for the subsidy if:
- They were in business in Australia on 1 March 2020;
- They meet the declined turnover requirements;
- 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1billion or less)
- 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1billion or more)
- 15% fall in turnover for ACNC registered charities
Employers are not entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment if they are:
- Government bodies
- Major banks
- A company in liquidation
- An entity that has entered bankruptcy
Employees are eligible for the subsidy if:
- They were at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020;
- They are currently employed by an eligible employer, and were employed as at 1 March 2020;
- They are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a long-term casual is an employee engaged on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months);
- They are an Australian resident or holder of Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa;
- They are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer.
To participate in the scheme and be eligible, employers must pay eligible employees at a minimum $1,500.00 per fortnight, before tax.
- Employees who receive $1,500.00 or more per fortnight before tax should continue to receive their regular income. The JobKeeper payment will subsidise all or part the income for the employee.
- If an employee would ordinarily receive less than $1,500.00 in income per fortnight, their employer must pay them at a minimum $1,500.00 before tax.
- If an employee has been stood down, they must be paid $1,500.00 before tax.
Payments will be made to employers monthly in arrears. So, whilst the subsidy starts on the 30 March 2020, the first payments will not be received by employers until the first week of May.
How to Apply
In order to receive the JobKeeper payment, employers must:
- Assess that they have or will likely experience the required turnover decline
- Apply at gov.au
- Provide information to the ATO on all eligible employees.
- Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500.00 per fortnight (before tax)
- Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper payment and provide each employee with a nomination form
- Continue to provide and report information to the ATO on a monthly basis.
Amendments to The Fair Work Act
Following the announcement of this scheme, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation of the JobKeeper wage subsidy. You can read more about this and how it affects your business here.
If you have any further questions regarding the JobKeeper payment, please contact one of our experienced employment lawyers on 07 4052 0700 today.