As of yesterday, the government announced the $1,500 JobKeeper subsidy to help keep staff employed. To be part of the subsidy, employers will need to ensure that their employees receive at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).

Effective date: For employees employed as at and from 30 March 2020 for 6 months or until the employee ceases employment.

Payment date: Payments to commence from the first week of May 2020.

Administration: The ATO will administer the subsidy by providing monthly payments in arrears to eligible employers based on provided payroll information.

Employer Eligibility

This applies to the following businesses (including sole traders, the self-employed with an ABN and charities)

  • Employers with a turnover of less than $1bn who have received a reduction in turnover of more than 30% relative to a comparable period 12 months ago for a least a month; or
  • Employers with a turnover of more than $1bn who have received a reduction in turnover of more than 50% relative to a comparable period 12 months ago.

Employee Eligibility

  • Were employed by an eligible employer at 1 March 2020; and
  • Are currently employed by the employer, including those that have been stood down or rehired; and
  • Are full time, part time or long term casual (being a regular casual employee for at least 12 months at 1 March 2020); and
  • Are at least 16 years of age; and
  • Are an Australian citizen or hold a current appropriate visa; and
  • Not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer

Wages vs Drawings

For sole traders, partners in a partnership and beneficiaries in a trust who are self-employed and take their income as drawings rather than wages it appears the JobKeeper subsidy still applies providing:

  • An active ABN and TFN is provided; and
  • An individual is nominated to receive the payment; and
  • A declaration is provided to the ATO confirming recent business activity

How the support is provided

To access the JobKeeper subsidy, you should talk to your accountant or adviser to assist you with the registration process and calculations.

If you want to manage the process yourself, you must:

  • Register

Applications are not yet open. However, you should register your intent to apply for the JobKeeper subsidy with the ATO

The ATO will provide you with regular updates and advise you when you can lodge your application.

  • Assess turnover

Ensure you have an accurate record of your revenue for the 2018-19 income year and for the 2019-20 year to date. Ensure you keep an accurate record of revenue from March 2020 onwards. Compare your revenue for the whole of March 2019 with the whole of March 2020. Measure the % decline in your revenue and ensure it has declined by more than 30% o If you are not eligible in March, you may become eligible in another month.

  • Identify eligible employees

Nominate the employees eligible for the JobKeeper payments – you will need to provide this information to the ATO and keep that information up to date each month. The ATO will use Single Touch Payroll to prepopulate the information in most cases.

Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving a JobKeeper payment. Employees can only be registered with one employer.

If an employee normally receives $1,500 or more per fortnight before tax the employee should continue to receive their regular income.

Note: It is unclear at this stage if the employer must continue to pay their employee the same salary if it was more than the subsidy amount.

Pay superannuation guarantee on normal salary and wages amounts paid to employees. If the employee normally receives less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, the employer can decide whether to pay superannuation on the additional amount that is paid as a result of the JobKeeper program.

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