The Federal Government announced a new $130bn JobKeeper payment plan as part of its third stimulus package. This is created to subsidise wages to ensure businesses can keep employees during the downturn, due to COVID-19.
Businesses will receive a wage subsidy of $1,500 per eligible employee, per fortnight to keep employees in work. This will be delivered through the ATO and based on payroll information.
Employers will pay their eligible employees and be reimbursed by the Government and the program is expected to run for 6 months, payments will stop if the employee is no longer employed.
Eligible employers include:
- Businesses with turnover less than $1billion and their turnover has dropped more than 30% relative to a comparable period.
- Sole traders and self-employed with an ABN and not-for-profits (including charities) that meet the turnover tests are eligible for the JobKeeper payment.
Eligible employees include:
- all full and part-time employees over 16 years of age and who were employed as at 1 March (which includes employees who have been stood down)
- long term casual employees (over 16 years of age who have been employed for longer than 12 months at 1 March 2020)
- Australian citizens or the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.
- Those not in receipt of JobKeeper payments from another employer.
Payments from the government to eligible businesses will start from the first week of May and will be backdated to 30 March, so employers may have to make payments to employees prior to being reimbursed by the government.
Sole traders are now also eligible to apply for the JobKeeper payment for themselves if they can demonstrate that their turnover has fallen by more than 30%.
Please note the legislation has not been released on this yet and we are awaiting further details to be announced. [UPDATE] This was passed in parliament on 8 April 2020.
The aim of the package is to enable businesses to keep their workers on their payrolls through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Government also announced they were extending the ‘JobSeeker’ arrangements so that the jobseeker’s partner can now earn $79,762 per year for the job seeker to be eligible (up from the previous threshold of $48,000)
If you require any assistance with this package and how it will affect you or your business then please contact us.