Written by Kyle Rowston-Wolcott.

Up to $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for eligible employees…

The Government will pay eligible employers a subsidy that will guarantee a minimum income for every eligible employee. This subsidy is unaffected by the employee’s previous wage and provides employers with a payment that can be directly passed to the employee or used to offset the cost of their wages for a maximum period of 6 months from 30 March 2020.


What about superannuation?

Superannuation is not included in this payment, though employers must still pay superannuation guarantees for current wages. They are not required to pay superannuation for any amount of the subsidy that would exceed the employee’s wages but can do so if they wish.

For example, if an employer currently pays its employee $1000 per fortnight and receives the JobKeeper payment, they must pay the current wage ($1000) plus the superannuation guarantee as well as an additional $500 (with an optional superannuation payment) to maintain the minimum income of $1500 required. Here the JobKeeper payment will offset all employee costs apart from the superannuation guarantee required for the original wage.

Who is an eligible employee?

Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, Protected Special Category Visa Holders and non-protected Special Category Visa Holders.

All full-time and part-time employees (including those stood down and re-hired) as well as casual employees that have been with their employer for at least 12 months.

Note: to be eligible an employee must have had an employment relationship with the eligible employer as at 1 March 2020. If you are currently receiving JobSeeker payments at the moment, this may affect the employment relationship and prevent you from seeking the JobKeeper payment.

Business conditions for eligible employers…

Your business must not be subject to a Major Bank Levy; and

If your business has a turnover of less than $1 billion, you must demonstrate that your turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period (of at least one month) last year; or

If your business has a turnover of more than $1 billion, you must demonstrate that your turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period (of at least one month) last year.

Self-employed or Non-Profit?

If your business meets the above criteria and turnover tests, you will still be eligible to apply.

How to apply as an employee…

Most employees will not need to do anything more than receive a notification from their employer

However, the following employees will have additional tasks:

  1. Employees that have multiple employers must notify the employer that is their primary employer.
  2. Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.
  3. Employees that are currently in receipt of an income support payment must notify Services Australia of their new income.

How to apply as an employer…

At the time of writing, the ATO has yet to create an application portal, however, interested businesses may register their interest and receive updates from the ATO here.

Once applications open, employers will need to:

  1. Identify eligible employees for the JobKeeper Payments and provide monthy updates to the ATO;
  2. Provide information on previous turnover for a period of no less than one month during the previous year; and

Notify employees if and when the JobKeeper Payment has been approved

For assistance in completing these applications please consult your accountant or the ATO fact sheet for more information.

The contents are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

Uther Webster & Evans can provide you with advice and assist you with your commercial and personal affairs call or email us to discuss.