The JobKeeper Initiatives – The Important Facts
As we know, in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic impact, the federal government has introduced the ‘JobKeeper’ initiative, designed to assist employers in retaining staff where possible and offer financial support to workers. Whilst there are still many unknowns and questions to be answered, like so many, we are trying to clarify how this initiative will work for our Clients and Candidates.
In order to assist, we have summarised the following information and aim to keep you updated each step of the way, particularly for those Clients with valued Temporary or Contract staff. There is so much to take in during these challenging times but, we are in this together and we aim to support and help wherever we can.
To be eligible you must be a business (including companies, partnerships, trusts, and sole traders), a not-for-profit organisation or a charity.
Turnover must be less than $1 billion AUD (different rules apply if over $1 Billion turnover)
This turnover must have dropped 30% minimum from one year ago. Eg March 2019 compared to March 2020.
The first thing you must do if you fulfill the eligibility criteria is to register your company here
Employees who are eligible must be either an Australian Citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a protected special category visa, a non-protected special category visa who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a New Zealander on a special category (subclass 444) visa.
They can be sole traders, full-time, part-time employed before March 1 2020, or long-term casuals employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020 (BTandP do not represent or provide Payroll Services for Casuals)
This is for workers that are still employed or those stood down as it pays more than the JobSeeker allowance by approx. $400 per fortnight. If you have been sacked – we believe you must be re-employed by the employer to be eligible. We are still awaiting clarification on how this is to occur and if it can be backdated.
Companies and Partnerships engaged via a Payroll and Management Service by BTandP are NOT eligible at this time.
Spousal income and JobKeeper Eligibility:
Initial advice from the Treasury was different to the ATO. The ATO current position in there is no advice in respect to spousal income affecting JobKeeper. It does effect JobSeeker and this may be why there was some initial confusion. If this changes, we will let you know.
Are there benefits or entitlements that must accrue to the payment?
- Superannuation is NOT required to be paid on the JobKeeper payment however, employers may elect to do so.
- Annual Leave and Long Service Leave have not been confirmed at this time (they are not expected to accrue).
- It is to be paid AND shown on payslips as a JobKeeper Allowance.
- Employers are strongly urged to make the payments via Single Touch Payroll.
Value of the payment
From the first week of May 2020, eligible employers will receive $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible worker as designated on their payroll (Employers don’t have to claim it on every employee). Payments will be backdated effective from Monday March 30, 2020.
100% of any payment must go to the Employee. The Employer may not withhold any monies whatsoever of this payment.
Payment is $1500 per fortnight even if employee would normally receive less than this.
NOTE: The payments ARE taxable still, something that is important to know.
Contractors or Temporaries engaged through BT&P
At this stage we are still determining how we can assist current Clients with BTandP Temporary or Independent Contractors in accessing the JobSeeker allowance. We aim to have a more detailed update on this as soon as we can – if eligibility criteria are met and the JobSeeker allowance applicable, this could mean all the difference to retain valued workers, which is, of course, the ultimate aim of this scheme during this unprecedented and challenging period. We will have full details on this in the coming days.
We trust this initial information assists, for further details direct from the ATO please click here for fact sheet information.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
From all the team at Bloomfield Tremayne & Partners
For further information regarding JobKeeper information for Employers, click here.