The JobKeeper payment is a payment of $1,500 (one thousand, five hundred dollars) per fortnight which is paid to an eligible employer in respect of each eligible employee who is employed by them. This payment will be available to eligible employers for the period 30 March 2020 until 27 September 2020.
The JobKeeper payment applies retrospectively from 1 March 2020, to cover any employees who were stood down or had their employment terminated due to the COVID-19 crisis which significantly escalated after that date. However, the payment does not apply to employees who were stood down or who had their employment terminated prior to 1 March 2020.
Eligible employers who receive the JobKeeper payment must ensure that they pass on this payment (less tax) to each eligible employee who is employed by them.
When is employer eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
The following principles apply when determining whether an employer is eligible for the JobKeeper payment:
An employer (including not-for-profit organisations) will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if:
The aggregated turnover of their business for income tax purposes is less than $1 billion and the employer estimates that their GST turnover has fallen or is likely to fall by 30% or more; or
The aggregated turnover of their business for income tax purposes is $1 billion or more and the employer estimates that their GST turnover has fallen or is likely to fall by 50% or more; and
The employer’s business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
People who are self-employed will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment where their business satisfies the relevant turnover test in 1) above.
Charities that are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment if they estimate that their GST turnover has fallen or is likely to fall by 15 per cent or more relative to a comparable period.
Universities and non-government schools that are registered charities will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment if they satisfy the tests that are set out in paragraph 1) above.
The following entities are not eligible for the JobKeeper payment:
The Australian government and its agencies;
State and Territory governments and their agencies;
Foreign governments and their agencies;
Wholly-owned corporations of the entities in a) to d) above;
A business that is the subject of the Major Bank Levy;
A company that is in liquidation;
A partnership, trust or sole trader that is bankrupt; and
Any business that is in receipt of separate support from the Government, where a condition of them receiving such support is that they must forego access to the JobKeeper payment.
In order to be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment the employer must have had an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and must confirm that each eligible employee continues to currently be employed.
When is an employee an eligible employee?
An employee will be an eligible employee if they:
Are currently employed by an eligible employer (this includes employees who have been stood down or re-hired);
Were employed by their employer as at 1 March 2020;
Are a full time, part time or long term casual employee. In terms of casual employees, the employee must have been employed on a regular and systemic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
Are a permanent employee of the employer or, in the case of a long term casual employee, not a permanent employee of any other employer;
Are at least 16 years of age at 1 March 2020;
Are an Australian citizen, hold a permanent visa or hold a Special Category (Subclass 444) visa at 1 March 2020;
Were a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
Are not receiving the JobKeeper payment from any other employer.
Additional eligibility criteria also applies in relation to certain classes of employees - for example, employees who are receiving parental leave, employees who are receiving workers compensation and employees who are on WorkCover.
When will JobKeeper Payments be made?
The ATO will make JobKeeper payments to eligible employers monthly in arrears. The ATO will commence making JobKeeper payments in the first week of May.
In the lead up to the first week of May, the Government is encouraging employers who are eligible for the JobKeeper payment to immediately make payment of the $1,500 (less tax) per fortnight to eligible employees for the period from 1 March, and then claim the amount back via the JobKeeper payment. Before doing so you it is vital that you check and confirm that your business is eligible for the JobKeeper payment.
Can we help?
Are you an employer who needs assistance in determining whether your business is eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment
Alternatively, are you an employee and looking for advice on whether your employment will be covered by the JobKeeper payment?