In addition to existing business assistance measures the Federal Government has now announced a substantive wage subsidy scheme to help keep people employed through this difficult period. It’s called the JobKeeper Payment.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. 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.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
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 Payment.
Eligable employees are employees who:
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.
Businesses with employees
Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment. Register Here.
Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. (To confirm, the employer must hold tax back from the $1,500 payment before it is paid to the employee).
It will be up the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Businesses without employees
Businesses without employees, such as self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment. Register Here.
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 to the individual’s bank account.
Please note self-employed recipients must hold back tax from each $1,500 payment for their end of year tax liability.
To receive the JobKeeper Payment employers must:
|Step 1||Register an intention to apply on the ATO website
Employers must register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
|Step 2||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 re-hired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
|Step 3||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.
|Step 4||Notify employees
Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
|Step 5||Continue reporting
Employers must continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.
Make sure to give us a call on 4421 6500 or email if there’s anything we can do to help.