Impacted businesses will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees. You will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months. The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy for the next six months if:
- Their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
- their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
- The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.
- To establish that a business has faced or is likely to face the relevant fall in turnover, businesses should be able to show that their turnover has or will likely fall in the relevant month or quarter (depending on their Business Activity Statement reporting period) relative to their turnover in a corresponding period a year earlier.
- Turnover is calculated as it is for GST purposes, and is reported on Business Activity Statements. It includes all taxable supplies and all GST free supplies but not input taxed supplies.
- If a business is part of a consolidated group for income tax purposes, with a turnover of more than $1 billion, the 50 per cent or more turnover test will apply to each business in that consolidated group If the consolidated group has turnover of less than $1 billion, the 30 per cent or more turnover test is applied to each business in that consolidated group. Individual businesses within a consolidated group may be eligible for the JobKeeper payment while other businesses in the group may not be eligible.
- Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (for example, because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established, were scaling up, or their turnover is typically highly variable), the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been adversely affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.
- The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances.
- Businesses that are in liquidation are not eligible for this payment.
Following the passage of the Government’s JobKeeper Payments Program through Parliament on April 8, the rules that regulate its implementation have now been published and can be found here.
If you are enrolling and identifying your employees and business participant for the first time after May, you must enrol in the month you wish to claim for.
The instructions about how to apply can be found here.
For all details visit: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper
Extension and Changes to JobKeeper Payments
The JobKeeper program has been extended until 28 March 2021. All businesses which have qualified will continue to receive the wage subsidy until 27 September 2020, but after this date there will be a number of changes made to the payment rates and the eligibility requirements.
Extension of JobKeeper
- The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021.
- The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
- From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week. The payment rate for these employees will be $750 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and $650 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
Stricter Eligibility Requirements
- From 28 September 2020, businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover (not their projected) in both the June and September quarters 2020. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
- From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of:
- 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
- 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less;
For more information, Treasury has prepared the following factsheet.