The JobKeeper payment introduced is a wage subsidy to assist eligible employers and self-employed individuals to continue to pay their workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible employers may be entitled to claim a subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months.
Two main eligibility criteria for employers include:
For businesses with a turnover of less than $1 billion – a reduction in turnover by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).
For businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more – a reduction in turnover by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).
individuals running businesses without employees that satisfy the above requirements may also be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment.
Employees must satisfy the following requirements for an employer to be eligible to claim the JobKeeper payment:
Employee is currently employed by the employer (including employees stood down or re-hired after they had already lost their job)
Employee was employed by the employer as at 1 March 2020
Employee is a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employee employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020
Employee is at least 16 years of age
Employee is an Australian citizen, or 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
Employee is not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer
In short – this means that eligible employers will receive the JobKeeper Payment for each eligible employee who was on the employer’s books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that employer.
Given the purpose of the JobKeeper payment is to ensure workers can remain paid during the COVID-19 business disruptions, employees will receive this payment from employers depending on their circumstances basically as follows:
If the employee ordinarily receives at least $1,500 in gross salary income per fortnight, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will effectively subsidise the employer for part/all of the employee’s gross fortnightly salary income
If the employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in gross salary income per fortnight, their employer must pay the employee a minimum gross fortnightly salary income of $1,500 under the JobKeeper Payment scheme
If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay the employee a minimum gross fortnightly salary income of $1,500 under the JobKeeper Payment scheme
If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, has subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and then has been re-engaged by the same employer, the employee will receive a minimum gross fortnightly salary of $1,500 under the JobKeeper payment scheme
The first payments under this subsidy are expected to be paid from early May 2020.
Again, as this measure is yet to be legislated, we will monitor and provide any additional details as they come to light and this measure is legislated.