There’s no question that the past couple of weeks have been a difficult time for employers wondering whether they’ll be able to afford to keep on employees, but the new JobKeeper Payment announced by the federal government yesterday is a light in the dark for many employers.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut.
The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the coronavirus, and will also be available to the self-employed.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy 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
- 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.
- Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are employees who:
- are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
- are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
- are at least 16 years of age
- are an Australian citizen, 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
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
Visit the government’s business website for more information.