JobKeeper

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JobKeeper Notifications

14 months ago New Download Available: Perks JobKeeper Comparison Table (last updated 12/08/2020) Perks Summary Read More 15 months ago New Download Available: Federal Government Fact Sheet: Economic Response to the Coronavirus – JobKeeper Extension (last updated 22/07/2020) Breaking News Read More 15 months ago JobKeeper Update Perks Summary Read More 17 months ago Students Aged 16 or 17 Ineligible to Receive JobKeeper Payments Essential Reading Read More 18 months ago Recent JobKeeper Announcement from the ATO Essential Reading Read More 18 months ago Article: ATO unveils alternative turnover tests for JobKeeper payments Essential Reading Read More 18 months ago UPDATED Hot Topic Page: Stimulus Measures & Payments (SA Land Tax Waiver, Rent Reductions, Payroll Tax) Essential Reading Read More 18 months ago NEW Hot Topic Page: JobKeeper Perks Summary Read More 18 months ago New Download Available: Federal Government Fact Sheet: JobKeeper Changes to Fair Work Act (last updated 24/04/2020) Essential Reading Read More 18 months ago UPDATED Download Available: Federal Government Fact Sheet: JobKeeper FAQs (last updated 25/04/2020) Download Read More 18 months ago New Download Available: ATO: JobKeeper Alternative Test – Rules Download Read More 18 months ago New Download Available: ATO: JobKeeper Alternative Test – Explanatory Statement Download Read More 18 months ago UPDATED Download Available: Federal Government Fact Sheet: JobKeeper FAQs (last updated 11/04/2020) Download Read More

JobKeeper 2.0 FAQs

Employers that satisfy the 10% decline in turnover test will be considered to be “legacy employers”. “Legacy employers” will still be able to access some flexibility measures. Specifically, a “legacy employer” will have the right to issue "eligible employees" with JobKeeper enabling directions in relation to changed duties and location of work and to reach agreements with those employees about days and times of work. However, the employee's ordinary hours of work cannot be reduced to less than 60% of the employee's ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020 and the employee cannot work less than two hours in a day.
Post 27 September 2020, a new JobKeeper Regime will commence, which will run until 28 March 2021.
Yes.  If your business qualifies for the new JobKeeper scheme, you will be required to make sure that eligible employees are paid the minimum subsidy amount per fortnight (see below for the amounts under the new scheme).
An employer is eligible for the period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 if they pass the GST Turnover Test for the September 2020 quarter.  An employer is eligible for the period 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 if they pass the GST Turnover Test for the December 2020 quarter.  The turnover tests are based on actual GST turnover, that is, the actual reduction experienced for the September 2020 and December 2020 quarters.
No, the following payment schedule/ amounts apply:

From 28 September 2020 - 3 January 2021, eligible employees of eligible businesses receive:
  • $1200/ fortnight for employees who satisfy the 80-hour threshold test in the relevant 28-day reference period. Your 28-day reference period or periods are based on when your pay cycle ends and therefore won’t be the same for all employers or employees. Use either:

- The pre-March period which is the 28 days which finish on the last day of the last pay cycle that ended before 1 March 2020, or
- The pre-July period which is the 28 days which finish on the last day of the last pay cycle that ended before 1 July 2020.

Note: If both are applicable, then you can choose the higher (working hours) of the two.  Your employee only needs to satisfy the 80-hour threshold test in one of the 28-day reference periods. If they satisfy it in one reference period, you do not need to determine if they satisfy it in other reference periods. If your pay cycle is longer than 28 days for your employees (for example monthly), you will need to perform a pro-rata calculation.

  • $750/ fortnight for employees who worked less than the 80-hour threshold during both the February and June 2020 periods.


From 4 January 2021 - 28 March 2021, eligible employees of eligible businesses receive:
  • $1000/ fortnight for employees who satisfied the 80-hour threshold test (see above).

  • $650/ fortnight for employees who worked less than the 80-hour threshold during both the February and June 2020 periods.
Employees employed as of 1 July 2020 (previous eligibility date was 1 March 2020) are now eligible under the new and current regime. This change takes effect from 3 August 2020, i.e. the 1 July 2020 eligibility date is effective for the current JobKeeper regime (not just from 28 September 2020 and JobKeeper 2.0).
Casuals are still required to be “long-term casual”, so will need to have been employed from 1 July 2019. Permanent/part time employees need only be employed as at 1 July 2020.
No, the JobKeeper scheme (1 May to 27 September 2020) will remain in place until the previously announced deadline of 27 September. Eligibility for the current scheme has not changed and eligibility will not be lost due to the changes mentioned above (except for as provided for above in relation to eligible employees as at 1 July 2020).
Yes, payments will cease for employers post the current JobKeeper scheme (1 May to 27 September 2020) unless they satisfy the criteria for the new JobKeeper scheme (28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021).

JobKeeper 1.0 FAQs

Employers will be eligible for the 29 March to 27 September 2020 payments if:
  • Their business has a turnover of less than $1B and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • Their business has a turnover of $1B or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
The payments will commence from 1 May 2020, being paid in respect of the prior two fortnights.  The payment on 1 May 2020 is therefore in respect of the fortnights 30 March to 12 April and 13 April to 26 April 2020.  The payments will continue for 6 months until 27 September 2020 when the first scheme ends.  The new scheme commences 28 September 2020 and ends on 28 March 2021.
To receive JobKeeper Payments, employers must:    
  • Provide information to the ATO regarding their eligible employees.  Eligible employees are those that:
    • Have been employed as at 1 March 2020, including those that have since been stood down (or rehired after 1 March).
    • Are full time, part time or casual (a casual employee must have been employed for over 12 months to 1 March 2020).
    • Are at least 16 years of age.
    • Are an Australian citizen or certain visa holder.
    • Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

(The ATO will use data from one-touch payroll to populate employees for the employer in the system)

 
  • Ensure each employee receives $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).  For employees:
    • Earning less than $1,500 a fortnight, they must be paid $1,500 a fortnight.
    • Earning more than $1,500 a fortnight, the employer may provide them with a top-up.
 
  • Notify every eligible employee that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
 
  • Continue to provide the ATO with all information monthly.
Not legally. It is up to the employer to decide whether it wishes to access JobKeeper for eligible employees. It is important to bear in mind that the key principle behind the scheme is:
  1. To allow employees to access payment outside of Centrelink; and,
  2. To allow employers and employees to remain connected, so that businesses can get up and running again quickly when the crisis has passed, without having to re-hire staff.
So whilst there is no legal obligation, there are some excellent benefits for both employers and employees which should be taken into consideration.
No. Under the JobKeeper scheme (1 May to 27 September 2020), the $1,500 is before tax and it is subject to pay as you go withholding amounts (PAYGW). It is worth noting that the PAYGW on the $1,500 JobKeeper Payments will also have an impact on Boost Payments (effectively increasing them).
TAX perspective:

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

HR perspective:

  • Where an employee is paid more than $1,500 per fortnight for work they are performing, the employer’s superannuation obligations will not change –you pay super on the full amount
  • Where an employee earns less than $1500 for work they are performing and so is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the Jobkeeperpayment, it will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wages.
  • If an employee is receiving the $1500 but not performing any work, superannuation is not payable
As eligibility is determined according to turnover, the first step will be to speak to your accountant who can assist in demonstrating eligibility. We would then encourage you to seek HR advice about how to manage the implications for and communications with your employees.
Under the JobKeeper scheme (1 May to 27 September 2020), businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s TFN and provide a declaration as to recent business activity. People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.
There is no requirement for it to be COVID-19 related.
The JobKeeper scheme is described as a “one in, all in” scheme, which means that once an employer is eligible for the JobKeeper scheme (1 May to 27 September 2020), it must pay the $1500 per fortnight to all of its eligible employees. It can't “pick and choose” which of its eligible employees it will claim the subsidy for.
That will help administratively, but it is not a requirement.
The ATO suggests you speak to your financier as they are encouraging banks to use JobKeeper payments as "security" so to speak. Having said that, the ATO now states they have discretion to deem payment to have occurred - so there is leniency leading into the scheme.  
At this stage it appears that it is assessed based on your BAS timing. For example, if you are a monthly BAS lodger you need to assess turnover reduction month by month, whereas if quarterly then quarter by quarter basis.
To be eligible the employee must have been on the payroll books as of the 1 March 2020. If you stood down your employee on 29 Feb they are still legally your employee and therefore provided the business and the employee meets the remaining criteria then they would be an eligible employee. You will need to pay them at least $1500 (before tax) from 30 March 2020.
If you are speaking about a payment for redundancy then no, as it is a wage subsidy.
Until the employee takes maternity leave you could look at the JobKeeper payment currently provided they meet the eligibility criteria. When they look at taking maternity leave then they will need to decide which payment to receive, they cannot collect both. If they are not receiving any other government payments and are planning on going on unpaid parental leave - then yes you can pass on the $1,500 to the employee if you wish but you are not required to.
New businesses are able to apply for JobKeeper through an alternative turnover test. These tests only apply to entities that were not operating any business in the relevant 2019 comparison period. It does not apply to an entity that was operating one or more businesses and commenced a new additional business.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
There are two different alternative tests, depending on the relevant comparison period the entity uses and how long you have been in business.

Broadly, the first alternative test compares the entity’s projected GST turnover for the relevant 2020 period with the average turnover since the entity commenced business.

The second alternative test compares the entity’s projected GST turnover for the relevant 2020 period with the average turnover of the 3 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
You will need to apply an alternative test to compare the entity’s projected GST turnover for the applicable turnover test period, with the current GST turnover for the month following the month in which the acquisition occurred. If there is no whole calendar month after the last acquisition, then the month immediately before the applicable turnover test period is used. This is also applicable for a disposal or restructure of a business.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
The test you will need to apply compares the entity’s projected GST turnover for the applicable turnover test period, with the average or total turnover from the 3 months immediately before the test period. The calculation will depend on the relevant comparison period the entity uses and how long they have been in business.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
As drought and bushfire are events outside the usual business setting, you will need to apply an alternative test to compare the entity’s projected GST turnover for the applicable turnover test period with the current GST turnover for the same period in the year immediately preceding the year when the drought or natural disaster was declared rather than 2019.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
To compensate for the irregularities in turnover your business experienced, you will need to apply the alternative test that compares the entity’s projected GST turnover for the applicable turnover test period with the average turnover from the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
There are two different tests, depending on your relevant comparison period:

One calendar month: use the current GST turnover for the month immediately after the month in which you (or your partner) returned to work, instead of the current GST turnover of the relevant comparison period.

One quarter: Multiply the current GST turnover for the month immediately after the month in which you (or your partner) returned to work by three and use that figure instead of the current GST turnover of the relevant comparison period for the purposes of the basic test in section 8 of the Rules.

The same tests apply for a small partnership, if one of the partners did not work for all or part of the relevant comparison period. The reason for not working could include sickness, injury or leave during the relevant comparison period. The circumstances must have affected the turnover of the sole trader or partnership.

Please note that the above answer is general in nature and businesses will also need to meet other eligibility criteria in order to apply an “Alternative Turnover Test”
You should be able to obtain one JobKeeper payment for a director / shareholder, in addition to payments for employees on the books.
The projection was accurate at the time of lodging and was therefore correct upon application. Over the coming weeks, restrictions will undoubtedly continue to change, so it would not be expected that your projection be updated each time. Keep in mind, you only need to satisfy the turnover test once; you do not need to reapply every month. Importantly, however, if you are relying on projections rather than actuals you need to ensure however that projections are justified with reasonable assumptions which are documented and retained as these will need to be provided to the ATO on subsequent audit.
To be eligible for JobKeeper as a sole trader, you cannot be an employee (other than a casual employee) of any other entity. A permanent role at a public hospital would preclude you from claiming JobKeeper as a sole trader.
You can only provide JobKeeper payments to those employed through the payroll and one business owner who is not on the payroll. Contractors are running their own businesses and need to apply in their own right as sole traders for JobKeeper support

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Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
 
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Website for free general Australian health advice. Includes easy to understand facts and procedures: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

 

National status, government response alerts and media releases:  https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

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Comprehensive advisory including definitions of who can enter Australia, applications for exemptions, media alerts: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

 

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https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/

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https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-latest.aspx

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https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

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  Northern Territory 

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New Zealand Resources
New Zealand health advice:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

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WHO (World Health Organization):

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McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Co insights on the varied impacts and aspects to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis

 
The Economist

A selection of stories about COVID-19 and its consequences. Selected COVID-19 content has been made free-to-view. 

https://www.economist.com/news/2020/03/11/the-economists-coverage-of-the-coronavirus

 
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All HBR COVID-19 related content has been provided as free-to-view. 

https://hbr.org/insight-center/coronavirus

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