In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic many countries around the world have tried their best to protect the interests of the businesses in their country. Australia is no exception. The government here in the recent past has introduced several measures to help the local Australian businesses and their employers.
Among these measures are the introduction of the JobKeeper payment for businesses and employees. We will look at this in more detail.
From 30 March 2020 up to 6 months, affected businesses will be able to demand a fortnightly payment of $1,500 before tax per qualifying employee.
This flat $1,500 a fortnight before tax would be passed on to participating employers as a reimbursement of part or all of the qualifying workers ‘salaries.
All qualifying workers including part-time employees can earn the entire $1,500 from participating employers. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will be responsible for managing the JobKeeper payment.
Eligibility conditions for businesses:
- Businesses whose turnover is less than $1 billion are eligible if their turnover is reduced by more than 30 percent over a comparable period a year ago for at least a month
- Businesses whose turnover exceeds $1 billion are eligible if the turnover is reduced by more than 50% over a comparable period a year ago for at least a month
Eligibility conditions for employees:
- Working for a qualified employer and hired by the employer as of 1 March 2020 and are full-time, part-time or casually working as of 1 March 2020 for more than 12 months (long-term casual) on a regular basis
- Must be an Australian citizen or a Permanent Visa Holder, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, an Unprotected Special Category Visa Holder who has continuously lived in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
- Must not be receiving JobKeeper employment from another employer
How does the JobKeeper payment work?
- Eligible employers must register their interest, and then apply online. This will include providing the ATO with certain details
- Eligible employers notify eligible employees
- Eligible employers must be notified to meet their obligations, if any
- Employers ensure that each qualifying employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight before tax
- Employers will be compensated monthly in arrears by the government as of May 1st 2020
- They will be reimbursed based on the number of eligible workers
Obligations for employees receiving JobKeeper payment:
Employees must receive a note from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper payment.
Workers of multiple employers must inform other employers about their primary employer
Workers who are not Australian citizens must report their visa status to their employer so that they can decide whether they are eligible for the JobKeeper payment
Employees already receiving an income support payment from Services Australia (formerly known as Centrelink) must inform them about this new source of income
The JobKeeper payment is an attempt by the Australian government to help businesses and employers in the Coronavirus crisis.