Latest Stimulus Package - JobKeeper Wages Subsidy
On Monday 30th of March a third stimulus package was announced that is set to deliver more relief to businesses that employ workers or are self-employed that are impacted by COVID-19.
The 'JobKeeper' wage subsidy for businesses is a $130 billion economic package aimed at preserving jobs. Eligible employers will be able to claim a subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, from 30 March 2020 (with payments commencing from the first week of May 2020), for a maximum period of six months. This subsidy will be paid by the ATO monthly in arrears and will ensure that an eligible employee receives a gross payment (i.e., before tax) of at least $1,500 per fortnight.
As an employer or business, how will I know if I am eligible for the JobKeeper Payment? Both Employers and self-employed individuals (i.e., businesses without employees) with a turnover of less than $1 billion where turnover has reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month), will be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment. Note, we await further information on possible ATO discretionary powers for businesses in operation for less than 12 months.
Where an employer receives the JobKeeper Payment for an eligible employee who has been receiving income support through Centrelink (or Services Australia) as a result of having been stood down or their hours being reduced, the employee will need to report the JobKeeper Payment as income, as this could affect their entitlement to such Centrelink support.
The Government also announced that the partner income test will be relaxed to ensure that an eligible person can receive JobSeeker Payment (and the associated Coronavirus supplement) where their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight (around $79,762 per annum).
The attached media release from the Prime Minister's website and Government Fact Sheet summarise the most recent package.
JobKeeper Media release
Click here to view fact sheet
If you believe your business turnover will decrease by 30% or more as a result of COVID-19, we strongly recommend you register your interest on the ATO website at the link below:
Click here to register your interest with the ATO for Job Keeper payment
Legislation for this package may be a week or more away and then Parliament will need to pass it and then receive Royal Assent, so until then we cannot be certain of the application of this stimulus. At least if you register your interest, you should receive updates on the progress.