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I am normally paid a monthly retainer of $3200.
Since May I have earnt no commission but was paid my monthly retainer of $3200 (which included Jobkeeper of $3000/month).
I am therefore in debit of $12,800 (4 months x $3200).
However during August I earnt commission of $12,000.
I thought I would be paid Commission of $12,800 Less JobKeeper of $3000 = $9800 Commission.
So for August I would receive $12,800 in total (JobKeeper + Commission).
My employer advised I would only be paid $3000 JobKeeper and no commission at all!
I don't understand how the employer can claw back JobKeeper payment?
If I left my job and my retainer was in debit,, would I have to pay back JobKeeper payment I received to my Employer?
Thanks for confirming JobKeeper is not repayable.
Just to be 100% clear, I can't go into debit on my retainer as a result of being paid JobKeeper?
If you're an employee and your employer is claiming JobKeeper they need to meet the wage condition as part of the eligibility criteria. As you know this means paying eligible employees a minimum of $1500 per fortnight (before tax). This is to be passed on in full to the employee and we reimburse the employer. You can let us know by making a tip off if an employer is not meeting the wage condition but claiming reimbursements.
Unfortunately Fair Work Australia are of no help to salespeople seeking redress from employer agents deducting Jobkeeper payments from an employees commission. In August FWA rolled over to REEF demands so that agents can exploit their salespeople in two ways during Covid-19.
Firstly despite the PM, the ATO and FWA stating that no employer can retain any portion of a Jobkeeper payment intended for an employee, FWA in August ratified such action lawful for agents.
Secondly, FWA also in August allowed agents to employ salespeople on a commission only basis without qualifying for the MITA rule in the award. Unfortunately FWA is a toothless tiger that allows employers to exploit employees.
REIV answers this question in their August 2020 Magazine:
Should my employer be treating JobKeeper as part of my retainer to be recovered through commission on sales?
Under the Real Estate Industry Award salespeople, unless they are employed on a commission only basis, are
entitled to a wage. Their employment agreement should also contain details of how commission will be calculated The retainer debit/credit system is not contained in the Award, it is instead adopted by many agencies as a convenient way to calculate commission entitlement.
In regular times the wage paid to a salesperson comes out of the employer's "pocket" and is recovered from the commission the salesperson earns. The salesperson is then paid the amount by which commission earned exceeds the amount that has come out of the employer's pocket.
Under JobKeeper, a portion of the wage each fortnight comes from the government rather than the employer, so if the employer "recovered" it they would be recovering something which has not been an expense to them and in effect they would not be passing on the JobKeeper payment to the employee.
The ATO is working to ensure the integrity of JobKeeper and among the fraudulent behaviours they have
identified is employers not passing on the run JobKeeper payment to employees.
REIV have confirmed that employers can't claw back JobKeeper.
"In regular times the wage paid to a salesperson comes out of the employer's "pocket" and is recovered from the commission the salesperson earns. The salesperson is then paid the amount by which commission earned exceeds the amount that has come out of the employer's pocket.
Under JobKeeper, a portion of the wage each fortnight comes from the government rather than the employer, so if the employer "recovered" it they would be recovering something which has not been an expense to them and in effect they would not be passing on the JobKeeper payment to the employee."
Report them to ATO too!
REEF have assured their members that they are entitled to claw back all payments made to debit/credit commission employees, regardless of Jobkeeper payments. Someone from the ATO needs to contact REEF.
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