Coronavirus JobKeeper Payment
Updated 7 April 2020
As part of the third economic response to coronavirus stimulus package announced by the Australian Government on Monday 30 March, a JobKeeper payment has been introduced to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages. This will allow more employees to retain their jobs and continue to earn an income, while ultimately helping businesses to restart quickly when this crisis is eventually over.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight, per employee from the Government to continue paying their employees, for a period of up to 6 months.
The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses, and self-employed individuals, impacted by the coronavirus.
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);
- the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy; and
- they are a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), and if they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 15 per cent or more relative to a comparable period
Eligible employers can receive the payment for each eligible employee that was employed on 1 March 2020 by that employer – including full-time, part-time, long-term casuals and employees who have been stood down.
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 period a year ago (of at least a month).
All business types will be eligible with the exception of those listed below.
The following entities will not be eligible:
- Australian Government and its agencies
- State and Territory governments and their agencies
- Foreign governments and their agencies
- Local council governments
- Wholly-owned corporations of any of the above; and
- A business subject to the Major Bank Levy.
Additionally, a company that is in liquidation, or a partnership, trust or sole trader in bankruptcy, will not be eligible.
Some sectors may not be eligible if they are separately provided with support from the Government that explicitly requires them to forgo access to the JobKeeper Payment.
If you are an eligible employer and wish to access the JobKeeper Payment, you must elect to participate in the scheme and first register your interest via the ATO website.
Once the formal application process is opened, you will need to provide supporting information demonstrating a downturn in your business to the ATO. In addition, employers must report the number of eligible employees employed by the business on a monthly basis.
The first JobKeeper Payments should be received by eligible employers in the first week of May.
Eligible employers who are successful in their application to the ATO will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.
Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and withhold income tax as appropriate. If an employee did not receive $1,500 before tax the employer must pay a ‘top-up’ payment to employees so that they are eligible. The ATO will provide further guidance on how this will work.
Where an employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper Payment (that is, if the employee’s usual fortnightly salary is less than the JobKeeper Payment), it will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wages paid.
Payments will be made to eligible employers monthly in arrears by the ATO.
Employers will need to satisfy payment requirements for their eligible employees in respect of each 14 day period covered by the scheme. The first period starts on Monday 30 March 2020 and ends on Sunday 12 April 2020. The final period will start on Monday 14 September 2020 and end on Sunday 27 September 2020.
Further guidance and application information on this subsidy can be found via the Australian Government website and the following fact sheets:
- Supporting businesses to retain jobs
- JobKeeper Payment — Information for Employers
- JobKeeper Payment — Information for Employees
- JobKeeper Payment - Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: we will keep this page updated as the ATO bring in exact measures for the application process.