COVID-19: Federal Government Offers $130b For JobKeeper Payment

Updated April 28th 2020

The Federal Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment in order to help Australians that have been affected by the current COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Many businesses have suffered almost as early as the start of the year due to this pandemic and as a result, many employees have also lost their jobs or have had their shifts cut.

The new JobKeeper payment will look to support as many as 6 million workers across the country with a fortnightly payment of $1,500 before tax through their employers. This package is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.

Now the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) has outlined the systems in place for enrolment and claiming of the JobKeeper payments.

Important things to remember are that the JobKeeper is a reimbursement to the eligible business in arrears.   Employers need to have paid eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment.  The JobKeeper payment will then be paid to the employer 14 days after the end of the calendar month in which the fortnight falls as a reimbursement of the wages paid.  If employers do not continue to pay their employees for each pay period they will cease to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.

To be eligible for the scheme:

  • On 1 March 2020 you carried on a business in Australia
  • Employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020. Eligible employees are currently employed by your business as at 1 March 2020 for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired) – refer below for further detail
  • Your business has faced a 30% fall in turnover for the month or projected month or quarter, compared to the corresponding month or quarter in 2019. There will be some alternate tests for specific situations and businesses.

Enrolment and claiming

There are a number of eligibility requirements which both the employers and employees need to meet to qualify for the JobKeeper payment.  Information regarding employer and employee eligibility can be found below.

There are two parts to the JobKeeper process. 

  1. Firstly you must enrol for JobKeeper (available from 20 April 2020).  Note to be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payments for April actual registration must be made on or before 31 May 2020.   
  2. You need to send the attached form to all employees and have them complete and return the declaration to you. This is for your records only.
  3. After you have paid your employees for the 2 fortnights commencing 30 March 2020 , if you meet the decline in turnover requirement, you apply to claim the JobKeeper payment reimbursement .  If the turnover decline is incurred after this period, you can opt in for that period. You must keep detailed workpapers as evidence of your eligibility and the basis of actual and projected turnover.

Once you have met eligibility requirements and registered for JobKeeper, you remain eligible until it finishes on 27 September 2020.

Alternatively, your Tax Agent can complete these processes on your behalf using ATO’s online services for Tax Agents.

Employees Eligibility

  • Currently employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired).  Note at this stage it seems that Employees made redundant do not qualify
  • Were either a permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020 or 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
  • Were at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020
  • Were an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 residing in Australia and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or an Australian resident for income tax purposes and a Subclass 444 (special Category) visa holder
  • Are not currently receiving parental leave pay or dad and partner pay,
  • Are not currently totally incapacitated for work and receiving payments under an Australian workers’ compensation law in respect of incapacity to work; and
  • Are not receiving JobKeeper payment as a sole trader, nor is another employer or eligible business in receipt of a JobKeeper payment for them

We appreciate that this is a lot of information to come to grips with.  This has been prepared on information available as at 20 April 2020 and will not cover all scenarios. 

Please contact your CIB Adviser with your questions.  We can complete the enrolment process on your behalf and also assist you with calculating your projected cash flow and eligibility for the JobKeeper payment. We are here to help you.