JobKeeper Payments Explained

The Government has announced, as part of its economic packages in response to COVID-19, a $130 billion wage subsidy titled ‘JobKeeper Payments’ to encourage businesses affected by COVID-19 to keep paying salaries to their employees.
The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. It will also be available to the self-employed. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.
Employers are eligible if they show:
  • They have a turnover of less than $1 billion and turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • Are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • Were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • Are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • Are at least 16 years of age;
  • Are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
While many of the details are yet to be worked out the Government has released a fact sheet which states that employers must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive the JobKeeper Payments.
The ATO have also created a link on their website to register an intention to apply.

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