The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses and not-for-profits affected by the Coronavirus to support them in retaining employees.
Eligible businesses that elect to participate will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee to support the people they employed as at 1 March 2020 who are retained in employment. Businesses must have paid their employees before they are entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment. Where an employee’s total remuneration is less than $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), or has been stood down, the employer must provide the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). Where an employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, employers can use the payment to subsidise the employee’s wages.
Self-employed individuals will also be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment.
Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions regarding the JobKeeper Payment.
TREASURY UPDATES JOBKEEPER GUIDANCE
Treasury has released an updated frequently asked questions fact sheet on the proposed JobKeeper payments ahead of draft legislation being tabled before Parliament on Wednesday.
The 12-page fact sheet details responses to a raft of questions that have arisen in the wake of the government’s announcement to roll out a flat $1,500 payment per fortnight to businesses as a wage subsidy for employees retained in the business.
CLICK here to view and download the fact sheet
How will the turnover test work?
Treasury has now clarified that turnover will be defined according to the current calculation for GST purposes as reported on business activity statements. It will include all taxable supplies and all GST-free supplies but not input-taxed supplies. Only Australian-based sales will be included.
What about partnerships and trust beneficiaries?
Treasury has also now advised that only one partner in a partnership can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper payments. Likewise, where beneficiaries of a trust only receive distributions, rather than being paid salary and wages for work done, one individual beneficiary can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper payment. Eligible businesses will also only be allowed to nominate one director to receive the payment and that individual may not receive the payment as an employee.
JOBKEEPER PAYMENT UPDATE
he Federal Government has this week updated the JobKeeper Payment factsheet. The update includes further information on eligibility criteria and the payment process: Click here to review and download
Tax agents will now be able to enrol for JobKeeper on behalf of their clients from 20 April 2020 using Online services for agents.
The five-step process will include providing clients’ bank details, specifying the number of clients’ employees eligible for the first two fortnights, and receiving confirmation that employees are eligible and have been notified of the incoming payments.
Agents will then be able to help their clients claim the first two fortnight payments by submitting a report through Online services for agents or the business portal between 4 May and 31 May 2020.
To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must apply at www.ato.gov.au and assess that they have or will likely experience the required turnover decline. They will be required to provide information to the ATO on all eligible employees. The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May.
The ATO has now provided a JobKeeper Employee Nomination Form that must be completed by both employer and employee if you are intending to claim JobKpper payments. Click here for further details.
BRIDGING FUNDING FOR JOBKEEPER
Australian banks are playing a vitally important role in bridging the finance that businesses need to pay their staff ahead of receiving the first JobKeeper Payment in the first week of May.
It is an integrity measure that businesses pay their staff before receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
On 23 April 2020, the Treasurer announced the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac and ANZ banks agreed to establish dedicated hotlines for their customers to call to receive the bridging finance necessary to pay their staff ahead of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
The hotlines are as follows:
- CBA: 13 26 07
- ANZ: 1800 571 123
- NAB: 1800 JOBKEEPER
- Westpac: 1300 731 073 and Westpac’s subsidiaries;
- St George: 1300 730 196
- Bank of Melbourne: 1300 784 873
- Bank SA: 1300 669 472
The banks have also agreed to bring to the front of the queue all bridging finance applications.
This means any business that is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment can now ring the dedicated hotline for the bank and ask for the bridging finance necessary to pay their staff. The banks know their customers. They know these businesses. The banks need to stand by these businesses in their time of greatest need and that is now.
The ATO have also set out detailed guidance on eligibility and enrolment for the JobKeeper Payment.
HAVE YOU APPLIED FOR JOBKEEPER?
Time is running out for businesses to apply for JobKeeper. It’s already apparent that many business owners have lodged an expression of interest, but have not submitted JobKeeper Employee Nomination Forms.
If you have not submitted a formal application for your employees, you may miss out. Also, you need to be aware of the monthly reporting process and ATO deadlines if you are managing this process yourself.
EXTENSION TIME TO ENROL FOR THE JOBKEEPER SCHEME
The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020. Enrolments are open through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online services, the ATO’s Business Portal using myGov ID or through your registered tax professional. You can enrol once you have confirmed you and your employees meet the eligibility criteria.
JOBKEEPER CHANGES TO THE FAIR WORK ACT
On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme (JobKeeper scheme) in Australian workplaces.
These amendments started on 9 April 2020 and end on 28 September 2020.
The new provisions enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme, and who are entitled to JobKeeper payments for their employees, to give directions called ‘JobKeeper enabling directions’. In certain circumstances, this means that employers can temporarily:
- stand down an employee (including by reducing their hours or days of work)
- change an employee’s usual duties
- change an employee’s location of work.
The new provisions also enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme, and who are entitled to JobKeeper payments for their employees, to make agreements with their employees to change their days and times of work and take annual leave in certain circumstances.
Please visit: www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/
On 21 July, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those organisations which continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.
In order to be eligible for the first JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in the both the June quarter 2020 (April, May and June) and the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rate will be $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working in the business for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week, and $750 per fortnight for employees who were working in the business for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the same period.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rate will be $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week, and $650 per fortnight for employees who were working for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week in the same period.
The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged. This means you are eligible if you:
- are currently employed by an eligible employer (including if you were stood down or rehired)
- were for the eligible employer (or another entity in their wholly-owned group) either a full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee at 1 March 2020; or a long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
If you’d like further information on your eligibility for JobKeeper after 30th September, please contact your Client Manager at FinCare.
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The information provided in this article does not constitute specific advice. For further information , you should contact your professional adviser.