As we all know, the Australian Government announced the Job Keeper Payment on 30th March 2020.

When the scheme was first released on 30th March 2020, understandably, we were overwhelmed with enquiries from our clients, and their employees, in relation to how the payment would work.

Since 30th March 2020, the team here at SYM were under the impression that Parliament were sitting again on Friday, 3rd April 2020 to finalise and legislate the Job Keeper payment.

Unfortunately, this has not yet happened, and we have now been advised that this will take place this coming Wednesday, 8th April 2020.

In light of this, we please ask everyone to be patient! Be patient with your employers, be patient with your employees, and be patient with your bookkeepers and your accountants! We are all doing our very best to ensure that we are delivering the right information to you. We are receiving very little clarification, especially with regards to the timeframes and eligibility. Please bear with us as we do our homework and wait for legislation to pass so we can deliver the right information to you.

Below is a summary of what we do know regarding the Job Keeper Payment.

The idea behind the scheme is that employers will retain their employees and have them working where they can. However, if there is no work available due to Coronavirus related downturn or closures, then these employers retain their employees on this payment for up to six months so that employees stay connected to their employers.

There will be a $1,500 per fortnight Job Keeper Payment for eligible employees:

  • This will be paid to the employer, who will then pay their employee;
  • An individual cannot receive the Job Seeker Payment as well as the Job Keeper Payment;
  • This is a flat rate for everyone;
  • This applies to full-time workers, part-time workers, sole traders and casual employees that have been with their employer for more than 12 months;
  • Any employees who were employed by the eligible employer as at 1st March 2020 can be eligible for these payments;
  • Payments will be made from 1st May 2020 onwards, however, they will be backdated from 30th March 2020;
  • Employers can start making these payments as of today from their own funds, and they will be reimbursed back to 30th March 2020;
  • Every business will be eligible where they have seen a decrease in turnover of 30% or more (50% if your business turnover is more than $1.1 billion);
  • The ATO have set up an registration process, that initially records your interest in applying for the Job Keeper Payment: https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment/
  • Employers must register with the Tax Office to receive these payments (businesses can do this themselves directly on the ATO website, alternatively your bookkeeper can provide assistance, if you do not utilise the services of a bookkeeper, your accountant can provide this assistance);
  • The Single Touch Payroll system will be used to process payments to employees;
  • New Zealander’s on a 444 Visa will be eligible for these payments;
  • This is intended to be a scheme that lasts for up to six months;
  • Employers can top up their employees’ wages;
  • There is no Super Guarantee paid on this payment.
  • There is no leave accrued during this time also.

We are keeping a keen eye on the developments, so please know that we will update you all on what happens over the next few days.