JobKeeper Payment Announcement
The Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.
Employers will receive a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months. The aim of the payment is to have employers retain their staff which will enable them to restart their business quickly once the crisis is over.
Please note that we cannot assess eligibility until we see the legislation.
Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:
• 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.
You can register your interest for the JobKeeper payment at https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/. In time you will need to apply to the ATO for the payment and provide supporting information demonstrating the reduction in turnover. Generally, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll to pre-populate the employee details for the employer.
Employers will receive the payment for each eligible employee that was employed on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that employer. This includes full-time, part-time, long term casuals and already stood down employees. Eligible casuals are those who have been regularly employed by their employer for at least 1 year as at 1 March 2020.
To be eligible, an employee 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.
Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).
Where employees have multiple employers – only one employer will be eligible to receive the payment. The employee will need to notify their primary employer to claim the JobSeeker Payment on their behalf. The claiming of the tax free threshold will in most cases be sufficient notification that an employer is the employee's primary employer.
Employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment.
If an employee normally receives less than $1,500 income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay them the $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
It will be up to the employer whether they choose to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper payment.
Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO.
The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020 and first payments will be received by employers in the first week of May.
More information on the JobKeeper payment can be found on the government's fact sheet which can be accessed by clicking here.
JobSeeker Payment & Partner Income Test Relaxed
The Government has announced that it will temporarily relax the partner income test to ensure that an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker Payment, and associated Coronavirus Supplement, provided their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight, around $79,762 per annum. This will apply for the next six months.
The personal income test for individuals on JobSeeker Payment will still apply.
If you have any questions in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.