JobKeeper: The key facts and what you need to do
The JobKeeper payment is a $130 billion scheme to support businesses that are significantly affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
The scheme provides for payments of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee of an eligible business.
The ATO has released guidelines for businesses and employees regarding:
- How to enrol and claim the JobKeeper payment
- How and when to pay your employees
The scheme contains a vast amount of detailed information and conditions. Complete information can be found at the JobKeeper section of the ATO Website.
WLM is also ready to support you and your business to navigate the process.
This article summarises and seeks to simplify the key facts and the steps that businesses are required to take to participate. Please note that you or your accountant will need to follow the ATO guidelines precisely.
Employers who are eligible for the JobKeeper payments must meet these criteria:
- 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 business currently employs your eligible employees for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired)
- Your business has faced 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.
WLM Financial recommends that you consult us regarding the GST turnover test because GST turnover is not the same as invoiced revenue.
How to calculate you fall in turnover
To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare any month or quarter between March and Sepember. For example:
- GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
- Projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
- Projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter beginning April 2019.
Your eligible employees
Employees are eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:
- Are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired)
- Were either a:
- Permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020
- Long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer
- Were at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020
- Were an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991,
- Were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
- Government parental leave or Dad and partner pay
- Payment under Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work
- Agree to be nominated by you
- Sole Traders may be eligible, but should apply under their own ABN.
You cannot claim for any employees who:
- Were first employed by you after 1 March 2020, or
- Left your employment before 1 March 2020, or
- Have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer.
Casual employees are not eligible unless they were employed by you on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020.
Before you enrol to receive JobKeeper payments, you need to notify each eligible employee that you intend to nominate them as eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme.
You must tell those employees that you have nominated them as an eligible employee to claim the JobKeeper payment. They must agree to be nominated by you by completing the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and returning it to you for your records.
Employees who were stood down or on long term leave
Employees who have been stood down from work without pay, may still be eligible if they were employed by you, and met the eligibility criteria on 1 March 2020.
You will need to have paid them at least the minimum amount of $1,500 for each fortnight you claim for, to receive the JobKeeper payment.
Employees who have been terminated
If you terminated an employee after 1 March 2020, you can re-engage them, and they will be eligible if they met the eligibility criteria on 1 March 2020.
If you want to claim the JobKeeper payment for employees you have re-engaged, you will need to:
- Confirm they want to be re-hired and participate in the JobKeeper scheme with you
- Re-engage the employees you wish to claim for
- Ask them to complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you. You are required to keep this form as part of your records keeping obligations under the law
- Start paying them a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) for each fortnight they are employed.
You will only be paid a JobKeeper payment for employees from the fortnight that they were re-engaged. You cannot claim retrospectively for employees you re-engage.
Amount of JobKeeper payment
As an employer, you will receive a payment from the ATO of $1,500 per employee per fortnight as long as you and your employees meet the eligibility criteria.
The ATO will pay you for each eligible employee monthly in arrears beginning in May 2020. Payments will commence from the first week of May.
Enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment
Many businesses will have already registered interest in the JobKeeper scheme here. If you have not done so yet, we recommend that you do.
It is important to note that this registration does not constitute Enrolment for the JobKeeper payment. To do so, you will need to enrol for the JobKeeper payment from 20 April.
The employer will need to provide a monthly Jobkeeper Declaration Report, which will include details of actual and projected revenue for the month.
We're here to help
As we stated at the beginning of this article, the full detail of the JobKeeper scheme is vast and can be overwhelming. Please contact us for more information, clarification or support.
For more information on WLM Financial's accounting services click here.