JobMaker Hiring Credits: 6 January deadline to enrol
6 January 2021 is the final day of the first JobMaker hiring credit period and the deadline for enrolling in the scheme to access payments for this period. While the ATO has the ability to extend this deadline, there has not been any advice on this to date. Enrolments are not open as yet but because of the tight turnaround times, if your business would like to access JobMaker for the first period, it will be important to assess eligibility.
We’ve had quite a few questions about the JobMaker hiring credit announced in the 2020-21 Federal Budget. Here's what we know so far.
What is JobMaker?
JobMaker is a 'hiring credit' available to eligible businesses for hiring additional employees (not if you are merely replacing someone who left). The hiring credit is available for jobs created from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021.
The credit provides:
- $200 per week for new employees between 16 to 29 years of age, and
- $100 a week for new employees between 30 to 35 years of age.
Payment is from the start date of the employee for 12 months. Eligibility restrictions apply to the business and the employee. Employees need to have been out of work and receiving Government support for at least one month within the three months before they were hired.
When do the credits start?
Assuming your business and the employee are eligible, and the ‘additionality’ test is passed, credits can be claimed for employees hired from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021. The credit will be claimed quarterly in arrears by the employer from the ATO from 1 February 2021. The credit is an incentive for the employer to support wage costs and not passed onto the employee.
How can we access JobMaker?
There are three tests for JobMaker:
Additional employee test (additionality test)
Government entities or agencies, banks and other institutions subject to the bank levy, businesses in liquidation, and foreign Government entities (unless a resident entity), are unable to access JobMaker.
I can only claim JobMaker if the number of employees and payroll increases. What happens if one of my team resign? Through no fault of the business?
Your business can only receive JobMaker for your eligible employees if total employee headcount and payroll increases. If the headcount or payroll decreases or remains the same, JobMaker cannot be claimed for that period.
For example, if you had three staff at September 2020 and hired an additional two employees in late October 2020, your business can claim JobMaker for the two new employees assuming the business and the employer are eligible and payroll has increased compared to the September 2020 quarter. However, in December 2020, one of your original staff members resigns. As a result, your business can only claim JobMaker for one eligible employee in December as your headcount has increased by one, not two, compared to the September 2020 baseline.
A similar baseline concept applies to payroll. If you employed new eligible employees in October 2020 but your overall payroll remained the same or only increased marginally because the hours of your existing staff reduced when the two new employees were employed, then the JobMaker credit will only be the additional payroll amount. That is, if the JobMaker credit for the two employees for the quarter is $8,960, but payroll compared to the September 2020 quarter only increased by $1,200, then the JobMaker credit you receive would be $1,200. The JobMaker credit cannot exceed the increase in payroll.
Each month, employers will need to ensure they pass these ‘additionality’ tests before claiming.
Your headcount and payroll increase is measured on the last day of each reporting period from the date your first new employee started. For example, if your first new employee joined in October 2020, your baseline is set at that point. If a new employee starts in January 2021, your payroll and headcount baseline is measured from the last reporting period, in this case, December 2020 for headcount and the December quarter for payroll. That is, your baseline commences from the date your new employee starts and then is reassessed each reporting period to ensure there is an increase.
If I don’t hire new staff until January 2021, can I claim JobMaker for 12 months or only up to 6 October 2021?
JobMaker is available for 12 months for eligible employees hired from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021. If you hire new employees from January 2021, JobMaker is available for 12 months for these employees assuming that the employees and business are eligible and the ‘additionality’ test is passed.
The baseline for the ‘additionality’ tests – headcount and payroll - starts from the start date of your new employee. The Government has indicated that the baseline for the ‘additionality’ test will be adjusted in the second year of the program to ensure an employer can only receive JobMaker for 12 months for each additional position created.
My business did not have employees in September but I hired my first employee in late October. Can I claim the JobMaker credit for them?
Businesses with no employees on 30 September, cannot claim JobMaker for their first employee. However, JobMaker can be claimed for your second and any subsequent employees that started on or before 6 October 2021.
Can the business get JobKeeper and JobMaker?
No. Once your business exits JobKeeper and is no longer receiving JobKeeper payments for any employees or business participants, if eligible, the business could then start to receive JobMaker credits. The business is eligible for the hiring credit in the reporting period following your JobKeeper exit date.
Please contact your adviser at WLM for further details on claiming JobMaker or find out more about our range of Accounting services and book a meeting to discuss how these new measures may affect your business.