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Latest updates - JobKeeper

Extension of time to enrol

Enrolments for April and May closes on 31 May 2020. Go to the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) summary of JobKeeper key dates for more information.

JobKeeper updates from the ATO

  • The JobKeeper payment is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Check the ATO's JobKeeper timeline of content updates for their latest changes.
  • JobKeeper is paid to employers. The ATO does not make payments directly to employees.
  • A monthly business declaration must be made by the 14th day of each month, starting in June, to receive reimbursements for payments made in the previous month.

 

What the JobKeeper payment is


The JobKeeper payment supports businesses significantly affected by COVID-19 to help keep more Australians in jobs. The JobKeeper payment is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The JobKeeper payment is open to eligible employers to enable them to pay their eligible employee’s salary or wages of at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight.

Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.

Employers need to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will be paid to the employer in arrears each month. The first payments to eligible employers commence in the first week of May 2020. JobKeeper payments can be made for the period beginning 30 March 2020.

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 JobKeeper payment, employers and their employees must meet a range of criteria.

Eligible employers


Employers are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced either a: 
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools)
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories

Calculating turnover

Generally businesses will use the basic test to determine fall in turnover. This is based on GST turnover. This applies even if your business is not registered for GST.

In some cases, there are modifications to the turnover calculation. For example, if you're part of a GST group, calculate your turnover as if you weren't part of the group. 

Aggregated turnover

Your aggregated turnover is generally your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of any business:

  • connected with you
  • that is your affiliate

When working out your aggregated turnover, you should not include certain income (for example, transactions between you and those other businesses). These connected businesses may be based in Australia or overseas.

Eligible employees


Your employee may be eligible if at 1 March they were either:

  • full-time, part-time or fixed term
  • a long-term casual that you employed regularly for at least 12 months

There are other eligibility criteria that your employee must meet. Make sure to check them all.

If your employee agrees to be nominated by you for JobKeeper, they must complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you for your records.

Changes for 16 and 17 year old employees

To be eligible for JobKeeper payment fortnights from 11 May, employees aged 16 or 17 years old, now need to meet additional criteria. At 1 May 2020 they must have been either:

  • independent, or
  • not in full time study

What this means for employers

To confirm they are eligible, you'll need to get your 16 and 17 year old employees to complete the new JobKeeper nomination notice as soon as possible.

Payment process


Eligible employers will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1500 per fortnight for each eligible employee.

Employers need to pay all eligible employees a minimum of $1500 (before tax) per fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This will be paid to the employer in arrears each month by the ATO.

Timing


The subsidy started on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May.

The time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods has been extended from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May, you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

How to apply


You can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form.

After you enrol, you will need to identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO. 

Keeping the system fair


If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations in relation to the JobKeeper payment scheme, the Fair Work Commission has guidance on how it can assist with JobKeeper disputes.

If you're concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper payment, you can tell the ATO about it. To report illegal or behaviour of concern, see making a tip off.