In the third instalment of the government stimulus package to help small business through this period, ScoMo announced a $130bil Jobkeeper Package which will be one of the most meaningful payments to many of our clients yet.
Essentially, the purpose is to keep people employed by small business. We have been inundated with calls from our clients whose number one stress at the moment is either having to already stand workers down, or who will be needing to consider it in coming weeks. As small business owners, we know that your team can become more like your family and it’s often the hardest part of being a Director.
What is the Jobkeeper Package?
- A scheme to subsidise employees wages for businesses that have been particularly affected by C-19 in terms of income
- Businesses will receive $1500 per employee each fortnight with the intention of that business then keeping employees employed
- Businesses will be able to claim this subsidy from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months
- If you do gain access to the payment, it will be issued from 1 May 2020 and be backdated to 30 March 2020
Is my business eligible for Jobkeeper?
- If your turnover is less than $1 billion you must have a reduction in revenue of 30% or more since March 1. Note that if you have not experienced this reduction yet but are expecting to in the coming weeks, you can still apply
- If your turnover is more than $1 billion, you must have a reduction in revenue of 50% or more since March 1
- Revenue reductions will be assessed relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month)
- If you are self-employed, a sole trader or a not-for-profit, you are still eligible
Which employees can I receive Jobkeeper for?
- They must be currently employed by you OR were employed at 1 March 2020
- If you have stood employees down since 1 March due to C-19, you can re-employ them now and still be eligible for the payment (which must then be passed onto them as per below section)
- The employee can be full time, part time or a long-term casual (casuals must have been employed for longer than 12 months)
- They must be 16 or older
- Are an Aus citizen, have a permanent visa or other visas you can see here
What does this mean for the employee?
- Where you have multiple employers, only one employer will be able to receive the Jobkeeper payment for you
- For employees who are already receiving $1500 per fortnight before tax, your income will not change
- For employees who are currently receiving less than $1500 per fortnight before tax, and you are eligible for Jobkeeper, your employer must use it to top up your pay to meet the $1500 per fortnight amount
- If you are currently receiving payments from Services Australia as a result of being stood down or having your hours reduced, you must report a change of circumstances if your employer does start receiving Jobkeeper payments for you
How can I access Jobkeeper?
- Register your intention to claim on the ATO Jobkeeper page HERE
- UPDATE – Register from April 20th – ATO Jobkeeper application
- You’ll be required to provide information about your employees and your financials
If I receive Jobkeeper for my employees, what are my obligations as a business owner?
- You must notify your employee if you are receiving the payment on their behalf
- You must ensure that the employee receives the minimum of $1500 per fortnight before tax
- You will need to report monthly to the ATO showing that you are still employing the same amount of people to remain eligible
- It is up to the employer as to whether super will be paid on top of the Jobkeeper amount
For further information, see the Treasury form HERE.
The government have announced further updates to the roll out of the JobKeeper package:
✔️ Applications open on April 20th through your MyGov portal HERE
✔️ As a ‘business owner who actively engages in their business’ you may also be eligible to personally receive the JobKeeper payment. Read more HERE
✔️ Eligible employees should be given a nomination form to complete before April 20th. Find the form HERE
✔️ Employers must pay employees the minimum amount of $1500 p/fortnight for the month of April to then be eligible to receive back-dated payments for this period. The ATO has extended the date to pay your employees to 8th May
✔️ You MUST apply by May 31st (extended from April 30th)
✔️If your business was eligible for April and you applied for the payment, the money should’ve landed in your account by now
For businesses that have been drastically affected by C-19 already, this could be a life saver. It will certainly provide relief to many employees and take a huge weight off business owners shoulders who are currently scrambling to find a way to keep their team on the books.
For the full run down on the government stimulus package so far, head over to this article where we’re regularly updating content with each announcement for both business and individuals.
If you’d like advice specific to your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch here.