To help businesses retain their employees, the Government has introduced JobKeeper Payments, which are effectively a wage subsidy. The Government will pay an employee’s wages up to the amount of $1500 per fortnight for each employee.
1. Who is eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payments?
- Employers which have an annual turnover of less than $1 billion per year are eligible to receive the payment.
- Your business must be able to demonstrate that there has been a downturn of at least 30% in revenue.
- You need to have had the employee/s on your books on or before at least 1 March 2020.
- Employees need to be employed on a full time or part time basis. Casual employees are only eligible if they have been employed by you for at least 12 months.
2. How will it be paid?
Eligible employers will receive $1500 per fortnight from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for each employee. The full amount (minus applicable tax) needs to be passed on to the employee, as if you were paying their ordinary wage. You can also top up this amount at your own discretion. For example, if your employee earns $1,800 per fortnight you can pay an additional $300 from your business so your employee retains their current wage.
3. What if I have already stood down my employees?
If you have already stood down your employees or made their position redundant, you can re-hire your employee and receive the subsidy. Your employee needs to have been employed by you as at the date 1 March 2020.
4. Do I need to pay superannuation on the JobKeeper Payment?
No, you do not need to pay superannuation on the $1500 you pay to employees each fortnight. You can pay superannuation for any amounts you pay on top of that.
5. Can Sole Traders receive the payment?
Yes, if you’re self-employed, you can receive the wage subsidy as long as you meet the requirements of the turnover and downturn criteria.
From 30 March 2020, you can register your interest on the ATO website.
For more information you can read the full Fact Sheet from the Treasury here.
If you’d like more information about the Jobkeeper payment or to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted your business you can get in contact via email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Principal Lawyer, Emilia Cardillo on 0414 964 205.