By Michael Walsh, CEO of Walshs
The Federal Government announced on 30 March, 2020, that it will introduce a business support package to help employers continue to employ their staff where the business has been affected by Coronavirus.
The JobKeeper payment is designed to keep those currently employed in their jobs and legislation to approve it will hopefully be passed next week.
There are still some finer points to be announced but the information we have at this stage is:
* A flat minimum payment of $1500 per employee paid per fortnight (irrespective of the employees’ earnings).
* The payment will be paid to the employer.
* For employees who earn less than $1500 a fortnight, the employer will need to top up to $1500.
* Every business will be eligible if they have seen a decrease in turnover of 30% or more due to Coronavirus. The turnover decline will require that turnover of a current period (e.g. March 2020) be compared to a comparable period of a year earlier (of at least one month).
* The payment applies to currently engaged (on or after 1 March, 2020) full-time workers, part-time workers and casual employees who have been with their employer for more than 12 months and are at least 16 years of age
* The payment also applies to any employee who has been stood down from 1 March, 2020. If employees have been retrenched, they will need to be reinstated to qualify for the payment. Retrenched employees (not re-employed) are eligible for the JobSeekers payment.
* Sole traders without employees who meet the turnover test (see below) will also be eligible.
* Payments will be made from 1 May, 2020 but will be backdated to 30 March, 2020. Employers can start these payments today (from their own funds) and will be reimbursed back to 30 March, 2020.
* Payments to businesses will be made on a monthly basis and the business will need to provide details to the ATO on a monthly basis.
* Employers must register with the ATO their intention to apply from 30 March, 2020 and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
* A registration button is on the ATO’s website or Walshs can register for you (please email us if you would prefer the latter).
* Employers will then need to apply to the ATO with details of its eligible employees.
* The Single Touch Payroll System will be used to process payments to employees.
* The payment is intended to last for up to six months.
* Employers must notify eligible employees that the business is receiving the JobKeeper payment.
* There is SGC 9.5% paid on the payment, however SGC will not apply to any top-up for those employees who are earning less than $1500 per fortnight.
* Employees are subject to PAYG tax on their earnings, including the component supported by the JobKeeper payment.
* Employees with multiple jobs can only benefit from one JobSeeker payment.
If you want further insights into the eligibility of the Government’s JobKeeper Package for your business or advice on any other stimulus measures related to the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact us.
During the COVID-19 situation, Walshs’ partners will be working six days a week – so please feel free to contact us anytime Monday-Saturday.
Michael Walsh – 0427 838 908
Stewart McLeod – 0449 104 504
Hugh Walsh – 0479 028 068