We are aware of the Government’s latest “Job Keeper Subsidy”, and appreciate that we are all anxiously waiting for information on how this will apply to our businesses, and employees.

Below is a summary – click here to read/download the Treasury’s Fact Sheet as at 30 March 2020.  Please note that the information below, and in the fact sheet, has yet to be formally passed by Parliament, which we believe is due to sit again on Friday of this week.

The Job Keeper subsidy is a $1,500.00 fortnightly wage subsidy to help businesses keep employees employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said this is about 70% of the median wage. This subsidy will be paid by the ATO to the employer to assist with paying employees.

Registration of your interest for the Job Keeper payment can be done via this link: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/?=redirected_JobKeeper.

Note that businesses can still be employing staff and running their business to be eligible for payments, you do not have to cease trading to be eligible.

The subsidy will be available at $1,500 per fortnight for anyone who is full-time, part-time or casual worker and for sole traders. The proviso for casual workers is they must have been employed for at least 12 months. The payment is the same regardless of what the worker’s wage or the sole trader’s income; even if it was less than this.

Payments will be made from 1st May 2020 and will be back dated to 30th March 2020. The Job Keeper subsidy will last for 6 months; presumably from 30th March 2020 to 30th September 2020.

If possible, employers will pay this amount to their employees immediately, and are then reimbursed on 1st May 2020. Employees who have been stood down since 1st March 2020 are still eligible for these payments, subject to other eligibility criteria being satisfied. Further, employees who have been made redundant can be put back on an employer’s books. Business revenue will need to have fallen by 30% or more to be eligible (or 50% for companies whose turnover is over 1 billion).

There will be no superannuation guarantee levy on this payment. If an employee has applied for a Job Seeker Payment, they are to contact their employer and to see if their employer will claim the Job Keeper payment.  An individual cannot receive the Job Seeker and Job Keeper payments.

Other benefits could include:

  1. A cash payment of up to $100,000.00 for small business;
  2. Extending the partner income test to $79,762.00 per annum for those seeking income support; and
  3. The Job Seeker payment will also apply if you are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

We will of course keep you up to date as we receive further information, but ask that you please practice some patience over the next couple of days as this is finalised.