Can I Apply for JobKeeper Payments?
The Government has now introduced the JobKeeper payments to help keep more Australians in jobs and supporting businesses being affected by the economic impact caused by COVID-19. We will outline who is entitled for JobKeeper payments and how to apply.
Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- Your business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and your turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)
- Your business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and your turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)
- Your business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
As an employer, if you have been trading for less than a 12 month period, and therefore are not able to satisfy the above criteria (as you do not have a comparable period to refer to), the alternative test could be applied. Circumstances where an alternative test applies:
- Your business commenced business after the relevant comparison period (the business did not exist in that period)
- Your business acquired or disposed of part of the business after the relevant comparison period (the business is not the same business in that period as it is now)
- Your business undertook a restructure after the relevant comparison period (the business is not the same business in that period as it is now)
- Your business’s turnover substantially increased by:
- 50% or more in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period; or
- 25% or more in the 6 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, or
- 12.5% or more in the 3 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period.
- Your business has a large irregular variance in their turnover for the quarters ending in the 12 months before the applicable turnover test period, excluding entities that have cyclical or regular seasonal variance in their turnover, or
- Your business as a sole trader or small partnership where sickness, injury or leave have impacted an individual’s ability to work which has affected turnover.
Self-employed individuals, including sole traders (businesses without employees) and not-for-profit entities (including charities) that meet the above turnover tests are equally eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payments.
You, the employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees on March 1st, 2020 and confirm that each eligible employee is currently working in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.
Please note the Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, 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.
Eligible employees are employees who:
- Are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired)
- Were employed by the employer on 1 March 2020
- Are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
- Are at least 16 years of age
- 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
- Are not going to be receiving JobKeeper Payment from another employer. Sorry guys no double dipping.
The JobKeeper payments are classed as income so may affect your employee’s eligibility for other government payment such as Centrelink payments.
If your business meets the criteria for the JobKeeper Payment you will need to register your interest with the ATO here https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/?=redirected_JobKeeper
After you register your interest, eligible businesses will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application.
The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May. Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO. Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
Those who are self-employed or sole traders will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual, yourself, to receive the payment and provide your Tax File Number along with a declaration as to recent business activity. People who are self-employed will also be required to provide monthly updates to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.
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