Businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees, under the Jobkeeper Payment. Affected 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. Jobkeeper Payments is still to be legislated and passed through Parliament. It is not expected to become law before May 2020.
OBLIGATIONS ON EMPLOYERS:
- 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 is able to provide them with a top-up.
- Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
- Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- their business 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 turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)
- the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.
Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are employees who:
- are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
- 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 employ
If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.
How to Apply:
For businesses with employees:
Starting 30 March 2020, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/
Afterwards, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. Employers will receive the first payment from the ATO in the first week of May.
Eligible employers also need to check who are the eligible employees and they must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Please note: Employers need to be paying the employees in advance and the ATO will reimburse the business one month in arrears for the wages paid for those employees who have already been stood down and are currently not receiving any wages.
And while it’s great for you to register, when the legislation and all the details are released we would encourage you to talk with us to see if the scheme is right for before applying.
For businesses without employees:
Businesses without employees, like those self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
Businesses without employees 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.
People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.
Go to https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/ for further details.