The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses and not-for-profits affected by the Coronavirus to support them in retaining employees. What are these changes and how do they affect you as an employee?

WHAT IS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

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.

WHEN WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT COMMENCE?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available from 30 March 2020.

HOW LONG WILL THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT LAST FOR?

The JobKeeper Payment will be available for the period until 27 September 2020.

FOR EMPLOYEES

 HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • are a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
  • were aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020;
  • were an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder (New Zealand Citizen) at 1 March 2020;
  • were a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

I AM AN ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE IN AN ELIGIBLE BUSINESS. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax. You will receive a payment from your employer.

I AM STILL WORKING OR ON PAID LEAVE AND EARN MORE THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX. WILL MY PAY CHANGE?

No. If you receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your regular income according to your prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist your employer to continue operating by subsidising part of your income.

I AM STILL WORKING OR ON PAID LEAVE AND I EARN LESS THAN $1,500 PER FORTNIGHT BEFORE TAX. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

For eligible employees, if you receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. Your employer will continue to pay you your ordinary income according to your prevailing workplace arrangements and provide a ‘top-up’ so you receive $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

I HAVE BEEN STOOD DOWN. HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE?

If your employer is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, and they elect to participate, your employer will receive $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. They will be required to pay you $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight. The payment will be treated as income, and so will have tax withheld by your employer on your behalf.

I HAVE TAKEN UP OTHER WORK AFTER BEING STOOD DOWN. WILL I STILL RECEIVE A PAYMENT?

Yes. The JobKeeper Payment is not income-tested, so you may earn additional income without your payment being affected as long as you are eligible and maintain your employment (including being stood down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer. However, you can only receive the JobKeeper payment from one employer, your primary employer.

I WAS EMPLOYED ON 1 MARCH 2020, BUT I WAS STOOD DOWN OR LET GO AND I HAVE APPLIED FOR OR AM CURRENTLY RECEIVING INCOME SUPPORT (SUCH AS THE JOBSEEKER PAYMENT) FROM SERVICES AUSTRALIA. WILL I RECEIVE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

You will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if you have been stood down from work, or if your former employer re-hires you. However, the JobKeeper Payment is treated as ordinary income for the purposes of social security payments. You must therefore report your change in circumstances to Services Australia if you are receiving income support, and this is likely to make you ineligible for the JobSeeker Payment or other income support payments or eligible at a reduced rate.

WILL MY EMPLOYER PAY SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?

No superannuation guarantee payments are required to be paid on any additional payment made because of the JobKeeper Payment.

 I STARTED WORK WITH MY CURRENT EMPLOYER AFTER 1 MARCH 2020. WILL I RECEIVETHIS PAYMENT FROM THAT EMPLOYER?

No. The JobKeeper Payment supports businesses to maintain eligible employees who were in their employ on 1 March 2020. You may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if you are currently stood down by your 1 March 2020 employer or if you are re-hired by that employer.

I AM A CASUAL WORKER. AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

You are eligible for the payment if you have been with your employer for 12 months at 1 March 2020 on a regular and systematic basis. Apart from this, casual employees are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

If you are ineligible for the JobKeeper Payment, you may be able to apply for support through Services Australia depending on your personal circumstances.

I AM ON A FIXED TERM CONTRACT WITH MY EMPLOYER. AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

Fixed term contractors are eligible for the payment if you were employed at 1 March 2020 and meet the other eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper Payment.

I HAVE MULTIPLE EMPLOYERS. WILL I RECEIVE MULTIPLE PAYMENTS?

No. Every employee is only able to receive one payment from one employer, their primary employer. Your employers who have elected to participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme may ask you to indicate whether they are your primary employer. If you are employed by more than one employer, you should contact your employers and indicate to them which is your primary employer.

You can continue to receive non-JobKeeper supported income from your non-primary employer.

I AM A CASUAL EMPLOYEE AND THE BUSINESS OWNER CHANGED WITHIN THE LAST 12 MONTHS. AM I ELIGIBLE?

 You may still be eligible if you have been working for the business for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020 on a regular and system basis, even if the entity operating the business has changed recently.

Your current employer will need to assess whether you meet this test.

I AM WORKING IN AUSTRALIA ON A TEMPORARY VISA. AM I ELIGIBLE?

To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, an employee must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder New Zealand Citizen) at 1 March 2020.

I WAS WORKING IN AUSTRALIA ON 1 MARCH. I HAVE BEEN STOOD DOWN, AND RETURNED TO MY HOME COUNTRY. AM I ELIGIBLE?

You may be eligible to receive the payment if you are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder (New Zealand Citizen) who has temporarily left the country. You will be eligible for the payment if you are a resident of Australia for tax purposes and if you have been stood down from work, or if your former employer re-employs you. If you have ceased employment, and are not rehired, you will not be eligible for the payment.

I AM 15 YEARS OLD AND, APART FROM AGE, I MEET THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT WHEN I TURN 16 LATER IN THE YEAR?

No. Employees must be at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020 to be eligible.

I AM ON UNPAID OR PAID LEAVE. WILL I RECEIVE THE PAYMENT?

Yes, unless you are in receipt of Government Paid Parental Leave or Dad and Partner Pay. If you are an eligible employee and your employer is an eligible employer, they will receive the payment whether you are working, on leave, or have been stood down.

I AM NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT. WHAT SUPPORT CAN I GET FROM THE GOVERNMENT?

If you are not an eligible employee, you may be able to access income support through Services Australia. More information is available on the Services Australia website at servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals.

I AM RECEIVING WORKERS COMPENSATION. AM I ELIGIBLE?

If you are still working — such as reduced hours — then you will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment. However, if you are not currently working due to incapacity and you are being supported through workers’ compensation arrangements then you will not be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

I AM RECEIVING PARENTAL LEAVE PAY OR DAD AND PARTNER PAY THROUGH SERVICES AUSTRALIA. AM I ELIGIBLE?

For the period that you are receiving Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay then you will not be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

I CURRENTLY HAVE A SALARY SACRIFICE ARRANGEMENT WITH MY EMPLOYER. CAN IT CONTINUE?

Yes. The JobKeeper payment may be paid to an employee in cash or as a fringe benefit or extra superannuation contribution where the employee and employer agree.

With the relief currently on offer to small businesses engineered on tax credits, provided directly by the ATO, employers should stay on top of their tax and payroll obligations in order to gain the maximum available entitlements. The accounting professionals at ITP are well versed with these changes to the tax system and will help you implement the actions needed to take advantages of these measures.

Our consultants are working hard to stay safe and keep our clients safe.  If you need to talk to your tax agent, need advice or are unsure of your next steps and are uncomfortable with a face-to-face meeting, your consultant is available over the phone or via email.

Call 1800 367 487, or book online at www.itp.com.au and your tax agent will be in touch to help.

*Source https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus