COVID-19 Government’s JobKeeper Payment

A major part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the JobKeeper payment scheme

The JobKeeper Payment is a wage subsidy that will be paid through the tax system and administered by the ATO to eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Under the scheme, eligible businesses receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee and/or for one eligible business participant (i.e. an eligible sole trader, partner, company director or shareholder, or trust beneficiary).

The subsidy will be paid for a maximum period of six months, from 30 March 2020 up until 27 September 2020. It will be paid to eligible businesses monthly in arrears, with the first payments to employers commencing from the first week of May 2020.

The JobKeeper payment ensures that eligible employees (and, where applicable, eligible business participants) receive a before-tax gross payment of at least $1,500 per fortnight
for the duration of the scheme.

An employer will only be eligible to receive a JobKeeper payment in respect of an ‘eligible employee’ if, at the time of applying:

  • for employers with an aggregated annual turnover of $1 billion or less – the employer estimates that their projected GST turnover has fallen (or is likely to fall) by 30% or more; or
  • for employers with an aggregated annual turnover of more than $1 billion – the employer estimates that their projected GST turnover has fallen (or is likely to fall) by 50% or more; and
  • the employer is not specifically excluded from the scheme (e.g. one that is subject to the Major Bank Levy, one that is in liquidation, etc).

For an employer that is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (excluding universities and non-government schools registered as charities, which are subject to the 30% or 50% decline in turnover tests, as outlined above), a 15% decline in turnover test applies.

Importantly, eligible employers must actually elect to participate in the JobKeeper scheme via an application to the ATO. In making such an application, an employer will also need to:

  • Provide information to the ATO on all eligible employees (i.e. confirming the eligible employees were engaged as at 1 March 2020 and are currently employed by the business, including those who have been stood-down or re-hired). Treasury has indicated that, for most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll (STP) to pre-populate these details.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business and details of its turnover.
The team at Omnis Group can assist with the enrolment and application process or you can apply via the Business Portal. If you would like our Business Accountants to process your enrolment and application for the JobKeeper payment (which includes the assessment of whether you are an Eligible Employer and maintaining a record so that if the ATO reviews your application, you have support) on your behalf you will be invoiced. For any JobKeeper queries, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team of Business Accountants in Perth on 08 9380 3555.

Related reading

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme