The Federal Government has announced its intention to pass the JobKeeper payment program which is designed to support employees and businesses affected by COVID-19. This is a long awaited stimulus measure that assists employers in retaining their workforce.

In summary, the proposal is for a wage subsidy, dubbed the JobKeeper payment, to be made to employers of $1,500 per fortnight per employee to help businesses retain workers through this period.

Key points for employers

  • To be eligible and register, employers need to make a declaration that their revenue / turnover has dropped by at least 30% as a result of the current restrictions / COVID19 impact (businesses with $1 billion turnover need to declare a 50% reduction in turnover).
  • The subsidy is a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight, per employee. Aimed to cover part time, full time, casual workers and sole traders with a requirement for casual employees needing to have been in their role for 12 months (requirements in relation to full time, part time and sole traders to be confirmed).
  • Subsidies available for a period of 6 months from 30 March 2020.
  • Applies to employees ‘on the books’ as at 1 March 2020 so there is an opportunity for staff that had been terminated or stood down in the past weeks to be reinstated and become eligible. NOTE: To be eligible however, employees cannot be getting other benefits, i.e Job seeker payments, etc.
  • There is no superannuation guarantee contribution payable on this subsidy.
  • The actual payments to employers will not be issued until 1 May 2020. Therefore, employers will need to make wage payments up to that date from their own cashflow and will then be reimbursed by this subsidy.

Further information for sole traders

  • Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can also register their interest in applying for JobKeeper payments from 30 March 2020.
  • You will need to provide an ABN and nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number as well as provide a declaration as to recent business activity.
  • You will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare your continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the nominated individual’s bank account.

As an employer or sole trader, you can register your interest in applying for the JobKeeper payments with the ATO via the link below.

Click here to register your interest in claiming JobKeeper payments.

For further details and some examples of how this subsidy may be applied, please see the Fact Sheet in the link below.

Click here for JobKeeper information on The Treasury’s website. 

We will continue to keep you updated with further information on stimulus measures. For further updates, visit HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre to help you and your business in this challenging time.