On 30 March 2020, the Government announced a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per employee for all businesses affected by the Coronavirus. The new payment is called the JobKeeper payment and applies to wages paid from the 30 March 2020.
The intention of the JobKeeper payment is to allow businesses to keep their employees in their jobs even if there isn’t work.
The good news is that that the scheme appears to be quite generous and applies to the self-employed and sole traders. It applies to full/part time staff and casuals (who have been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months) and to employees who earn less than $1,500 per fortnight or may been have already terminated due to the Coronavirus.
If your business has had a drop in monthly turnover of over 30% compared to the same month last year, you should be eligible for some assistance.
However, the scheme is not a quick fix. The first payments will not be received by employers until early May and it looks like employers will need to fund wages payments until that time. Before any payment there is an application process with the ATO to determine eligibility of both the employers and employees.
The JobKeeper payment has not been legislated. Most of the detail we need to properly advise you regarding the JokKeeper payment is missing at this stage. None of the ATO systems that will manage the applications and process the payments exist at the current time.
The only action you can take now is to register an ‘intent to claim’ via the ATO website, but this will not change your eligibility or speed up the application process. As soon as the legislation is passed, we will have the details of how the scheme will apply.