Dear Friends,
 
Following on from our previous COVID-19 updates, we would like to provide you with a brief update in relation to the Federal Government's proposed JobKeeper Payment that has been announced.

The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees' wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income. It is also available to self-employed individuals. The scheme will see the Australian Government pay employers a wage subsidy at a flat rate of $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight, for up to six months, commencing on 30 March 2020. That said, the subsidy will be paid monthly in arrears with the first payment commencing in the first week of May 2020.
 
Eligible Employers:

Businesses who employ staff will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • For businesses with turnover of less than $1 billion who experience, or expect to experience, at least a 30% reduction in revenue in any month since 1 March, versus the same month the year prior.
  • For businesses with turnover of more than $1 billion will require the a 50% reduction in revenue on the same basis.
 
Self-employed individuals and not-for-profit entities that satisfy the appropriate above eligibility conditions will also be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment.
 
Eligible Employees:
  • Eligible employees must have been employed by the business on 1 March 2020, and continue to be engaged by the employer.
  • Employees include Full-time, Part-time, and Long-term Casuals (employed regularly for the past 12 months). Stood down employees who are re-hired are also eligible.
  • Employees must be 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.
  • Where employees have multiple employers, only the primary employer will be eligible to receive the payment.

 
If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, under this scheme the employer must top up that employee's income to $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. (i.e. pass on the full effect of the subsidy to the employee).
 
An eligible employer receiving the JobKeeper Payment in respect of one or more employees will be required to notify each employee that they have been nominated as eligible employees for the employer to receive the payment.
 
Employers must apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to participate in the scheme and provide supporting information, demonstrating the impact felt in their business. Employers will also need to continue to report to the ATO the number of eligible employees employed by their business each month, which is expected to be data-matched against reported Single Touch Payroll information. Employers can register their interest in the scheme here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/

We will provide further details in relation to this once these proposals are legislated.
 
Remember, we are here to help and please don't hesitate to contact me or any of our team members if you have any questions or concerns.
 
We will continue to keep you updated if there are any changes. Take care of your family and be safe.