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The JobKeeper Payment scheme has been introduced to help keep people in jobs by providing wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.
Eligible employers, sole traders and other entities can now enrol for JobKeeper online and nominate eligible employees to receive the JobKeeper payment of $1500 per fortnight before tax.
Our JobKeeper guides provide step-by-step information on how to enrol for the JobKeeper payment, how to identify and maintain your employees and how to make a business declaration each month. See JobKeeper key dates for when these steps need to be completed by.
You only need to satisfy the fall in turnover test once and you can do it in two ways:
If an entity isn't eligible for JobKeeper but predict they will be eligible in the future, they don't need to enrol by 31 May.
See this thread: JobKeeper enrolment cut off date
It’s not compulsory for employers to participate however if you decide to enrol, you need to nominate all eligible employees, you can’t pick and choose. See this thread: One in all in - can employers choose who they claim JobKeeper for?
Eligible employers will need to pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) before the end of each JobKeeper fortnight.
When paying eligible employees, you do not need to adjust your pay cycle. An employer with a fortnightly pay cycle would need to pay their employees on or before the relevant due date for each JobKeeper fortnight outlined on the JobKeeper key dates page.
However, if your regular pay cycle is monthly, you need to pay your eligible employees at least $3,000 (before tax) on your normal pay date. Because your regular pay cycle is less frequent than fortnightly, this payment can be allocated in a reasonable manner across the JobKeeper fortnights for each month.
For example, if you pay your employees $3,000 per month, it would be reasonable to allocate $1,500 to each of the JobKeeper fortnights in that month. Since August 2020 has three JobKeeper fortnights, it would be reasonable to pay your employees $4,500 in August and allocate $1,500 to each of the JobKeeper fortnights in August; the fortnights 20 Jul-2 Aug and 3 Aug-16 Aug and 17 Aug–30 Aug.
The $1,500 per fortnight is a before tax amount so you'll need to withhold tax along with any other payments each fortnight. You'll also need to continue paying super for any hours that your employees work.
See this thread: JobKeeper – tax, super and annual leave
You will still need to ensure these employees are topped up to a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).
If an employee normally earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, you should continue to pay these employees their regular salary or wages.
If an employee was stood down after 1 March 2020, you can start paying them $1,500 per fortnight to qualify for the JobKeeper payment for that employee.
You will only receive $1,500 for each eligible employee. Any amount you pay above $1,500 per fortnight is not subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.
We have instructions for reporting top-up payments through Single Touch Payroll.
Eligibility for JobKeeper payments is a self-assessment process and employers are responsible for checking with their employees they meet the eligibility requirements prior to paying their employees. If a payment is made and we later determine that the entity was not entitled to that payment, the entity will be required to repay the overpaid amount. If you think you have incorrectly received a payment, you can phone us to check.
An eligible employee who has provided their employer with a valid nomination form cannot opt in and out of JobKeeper on a fortnightly basis.
See this thread: Employee refuses to sign JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice
Employers must ensure that their eligible employees receiving JobKeeper are paid at least $1500 (before tax) a fortnight.
Questions about employee conditions including their duties and hours need to be answered by Fair Work.
It depends what JobKeeper fortnight you’re claiming for and what their circumstances were on 1 March 2020.
See this thread: 17 year old casual who turns 18 in July
On average most payments issue within five business days from when your submit your application form (when you identify and maintain your employees). However, it may take longer if there are additional checks required or any errors made on your form.
Businesses may be able to use the upcoming JobKeeper payment as a basis to seek credit in order to pay their employees until the scheme is making its first payments. We recommend that you talk to your bank as soon as possible if you are concerned about paying wages while you wait for JobKeeper.
The JobKeeper payment covers 13 fortnights from 30 March 2020 until 27 September 2020, with the first payment made to employers from May 2020
Our JobKeeper guide for sole traders provides step-by-step information on how to enrol for the JobKeeper payment, how to identify and maintain your employees and how to make a business declaration each month. See JobKeeper key dates for when these steps need to be completed by.
An eligible business participant cannot be an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity. If a sole trader is both a long-term casual employee of another business and also an eligible sole trader, they can choose to either let their employer claim the JobKeeper payments on their behalf, or they can claim as a sole trader, but not both.
As long as you meet the employer eligibility criteria and turnover test, you can nominate your eligible employees.
See this thread: JobKeeper for employee of sole trader but not sole trader
You don’t need to be registered for GST to be eligible for JobKeeper. However, you need to have had an ABN on 12 March 2020 and an amount of assessable income related to your business in your 2018–19 income tax return.
We can give you further time to lodge if you:
No. myGovID is a digital identity for businesses and not-for-profit organisations. They can use myGovID to log into the Business Portal to apply for JobKeeper payments. myGov is an account for individuals and sole traders that they need to access ATO online services. Sole traders can apply for JobKeeper payments through myGov.
Yes, you need to have had an ABN on or before 12 March 2020.
If your employer chooses to apply for the JobKeeper payment and you meet the eligibility requirements they will let you know. You can also refuse to participate if you choose.
You’re eligible if you’re a long-term casual employee and have been with your employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020. If you’re a long-term casual and you have other permanent employment, you must choose your permanent employer – you cannot be nominated by your casual employer.
You can only receive the payment from one employer. Here are some different scenarios:
See this thread: JobKeeper – Multiple employers
Yes, unless you are in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
If you’re an eligible employee on paid or unpaid leave and your eligible employer decides to participate in the scheme, they are required to pay you a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy for your employer so if your employer is paying you an annual leave payment, the $1,500 will subsidise part or all of this amount – it’s not an additional amount.
To be eligible you need to have been either of the following on 1 March 2020:
When an employment relationship commences is a question of fact. The test is whether a person was an employee of the employer on 1 March 2020. If the employment contract contained a specific date that the employment was to commence, the Commissioner would accept that date.
If the contract states the employment commences on 27 February 2020 but the person doesn’t actually attend the place of work until 2 March 2020 we would accept the date of commencement in the contract as 27 February 2020.
However, if the contract was signed on 27 February 2020, but it specifies that the employment is to commence on 2 March 2020, then we would take the later date and the person would not be an eligible employee for JobKeeper purposes.
Before your employer enrols to receive JobKeeper, they need to notify each eligible employee that they intend to nominate them. If you agree, you need to complete a JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to your employer. You can talk directly to your employer to find out more about your situation.
No. Once you have agreed to be nominated by one of your eligible employers and completed the Employee nomination notice, you cannot change the employer who is claiming JobKeeper payments for you.
If you’re receiving or have applied for an income support payment like JobSeeker Payment and your employer starts paying you JobKeeper payment, you must report that income to Services Australia. If you don’t, they will pay you too much and you’ll have a debt to pay back. If you start to get JobKeeper payment you may need to cancel your JobSeeker Payment to avoid getting a debt.
You can earn additional income without your JobKeeper payments being affected as long as you maintain your employment (including being stood down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.
If you were made redundant after 1 March 2020, your employer may choose to re-engage you and claim JobKeeper on your behalf if you both meet the eligibility criteria. You will only be paid JobKeeper payment from the fortnight you were re-engaged.
New rules are being introduced by the government with the intention to not require super guarantee to be paid on additional payments made to employees as a result of JobKeeper. We will update this information once legislation is in place.
The JobKeeper payments you receive through your employer are considered taxable income and will appear on your tax return as regular wages. Your employer will have already withheld tax before they paid you each fortnight.
To check if you’re eligible, see early release of your super due to COVID-19.
If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations in relation to the JobKeeper Payment scheme, the Fair Work Commission has released guidance on how it can assist with JobKeeper disputes. If you are concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper payment, you can tell us about it. To report illegal or behaviour of concern, see Making a tip off.