JobKeeper Payment – rules announced
The JobKeeper payment is for businesses and not-for-profits that are significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the measures in place to restrict it.
The government package will give eligible employees $1,500 per fortnight for 26-week period, running from 30 March to 27 September.
The treasurer has now released rules governing the scheme. We will keep you informed as these are updated.
The one in, all in rule – Employers who opt to participate in the JobKeeper scheme must ensure that all eligible employees are covered. This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme.
Notifying employees – If you have applied for the JobKeeper payment you must notify all eligible employees that you have elected to participate and they will be covered by the scheme. You’ll need to provide them with a JobKeeper employee nomination notice.
Decline in turnover test – If your organisation does not qualify for the month of April 2020 because turnover has not been sufficiently affected, turnover can be tested in later months to determine if the test is met.
Paying employees in the interim – The JobKeeper Payment is a reimbursement scheme that will be paid by the ATO monthly in arrears. Talk to us about your options if you are experiencing cash flow difficulties now.
What if an eligible employee usually earns less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax? – If you want to claim the subsidy for an eligible employee and they have not been paid $1,500 per fortnight since 30 March 2020, employers must pay a ‘top-up’ payment to employees so that they are eligible. It is possible that some employees may receive more than their ordinary pay.
Failure to pay the payment to employees – If you receive the JobKeeper subsidy for an employee, you must ensure that the employee receives a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. Failure to do so is a breach of the Fair Work act and may result in penalties as an individual and corporation, plus penalties under the Commonwealth Criminal code.
Superannuation – There are a number of scenarios related to superannuation:
- If your employee is not working, but receiving the JobKeeper payment, you do not need to pay superannuation.
- If your employee is working and receiving the JobKeeper payment, employers will still need to pay superannuation.
- If an employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper Payment, the employer does not need to pay superannuation on the top-up amount.
Monthly reporting – participation in the JobKeeper scheme requires monthly reporting including current GST turnover for the reporting month and projected GST turnover for the following month.
Does the JobKeeper payment cover other income loss such as rental income? – No. Only businesses with employees or self-employed people are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.
Processing payments through your accounting and payroll software – Providers of this software are upgrading now to allow for easy processing of JobKeeper payments within payroll and will be ready by the time businesses receive the first payment.
### How to apply
The first step is to register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates on the ATO site. This will allow you to check your eligibility. You will also get access to the forms for your employees.
From 20 April 2020, you can enrol for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.