JobKeeper Payments – Information for Employers

Articles Written by Ruveni Kelleher (Partner), Katelyn Iacono (Law Clerk), Lucy Adams (Associate)

In its efforts to provide much needed relief to employers and employees from the financial impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government has announced the JobKeeper Payment scheme to support employers who are experiencing economic downturn in the wake of COVID-19, in continuing to pay both functioning and stood down or rehired workers.

How does the JobKeeper Payment work?

  • From 30 March 2020, eligible employers will be able to claim a fortnightly subsidy of $1500 per eligible employee to pass on to eligible employees, for a maximum period of 6 months.
  • The scheme was announced on Monday, 30 March 2020. The Australian Treasury has published a guide on how to apply for JobKeeper payments.

Who is an Eligible Employer?

An employer will be eligible where 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
  • 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); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Sole traders, self-employed people, partnerships, trusts and not for profits will also be eligible should they meet the turnover test above.

Responsibilities?

Eligible employers must:

  • notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the payment; and
  • comply with their legal obligation to pass on the full wage subsidy to the eligible employee.

Who is an Eligible Employee?

An eligible employee is a full-time worker, part-time worker, or long-term casual (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020) who is;

  • currently employed by the eligible employer (including those who continue to work, have been stood down or re-hired by their employer after being retrenched); and
  • were employed by the employer as at 1 March 2020; and
  • at least 16 years of age; and
  • an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

If you would like further advice about these scheme, please contact us to discuss.

Important Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is comment of a general nature only and is not and nor is it intended to be advice on any specific professional matter. In that the effectiveness or accuracy of any professional advice depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, neither the firm nor any individual author accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of any articles. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this publication, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation (Australia-wide except in Tasmania).

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