JobKeeper Payment Scheme – Clarification and FAQ Released
The Australian Government Treasury have release additional information regarding the proposed JobKeeper scheme, these can be found in the FAQ document that can be found here: CLICK HERE. If you have questions about the scheme we encourage you to review this document.
Below please find an extract of the most relevant Q&A’s. Please note that we have not included the basic information regarding the scheme and eligibility below. If you would like more information on this please see our previous mail-outs available on our website through the NEWS tab or the overview document provided by treasury: CLICK HERE
HOW DO I WORK OUT WHICH OF MY EMPLOYEES ARE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES?
You will only be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for eligible employees that were in your employment on 1 March 2020, and continue to be employed while you are claiming the JobKeeper payment.
You can only claim JobKeeper payment for eligible employees if you pay the $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) to each eligible employee. These payments should be made using your payroll system and reported to the ATO via Single Touch Payroll. This will support the online claim process when it is available.
If you do not report through Single Touch Payroll, you can still claim the JobKeeper payment; however there will be a manual claim process.
You will be required to advise your employees whether you have nominated them as an eligible employee for the purposes of the payment.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE FIRST PAYMENT?
The first payments by the ATO will be received by employers in the first week of May.
HOW OFTEN WILL THESE PAYMENTS BE MADE?
The payments will be made by the ATO monthly in arrears.
WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBLE PAYMENT PERIODS FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR A JOBKEEPER SUBSIDY?
Employers will need to satisfy payment requirements for their eligible employees in respect of each 14 day period covered by the scheme. The first period starts on Monday 30 March 2020 and ends on Sunday 12 April 2020.
The payment requirement is that they pay their eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight in the scheme payment periods. Where an employer pays their staff monthly, the ATO will be able to reallocate payments between periods. However, overall an employee must have received the equivalent of $1,500 per fortnight.
The final period will start on Monday 14 September 2020 and end on Sunday 27 September 2020.
IF I HAVE STOOD DOWN MY EMPLOYEES AFTER 1 MARCH 2020, AND ARE NO LONGER PAYING THEM, DO I NEED TO PAY THEM? FOR WHAT PERIOD AND BY WHEN?
Yes. You can claim JobKeeper for employees that were stood down after 1 March 2020. To be eligible in relation to these employees, you will need to pay them a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) for the payment periods of the JobKeeper Scheme.
The first payment period under the scheme is from 30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020. Where an employer pays their staff monthly the monthly payment must be equivalent to the required fortnightly payment.
For all following payment periods you will need to continue to pay your employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), before the end of the payment period.
MY TURNOVER HAS NOT DECREASED BY 30 PER CENT THIS MONTH, BUT I BELIEVE IT WILL IN THE COMING MONTH. AM I ELIGIBLE?
You can apply for the payment if you reasonably expect that your turnover will fall by 30 per cent or more (or 50 per cent or more for businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or more) relative to your turnover in a corresponding period a year earlier. The ATO will provide guidance about self-assessment of actual and anticipated falls in turnover.
IT IS UNLIKELY THAT MY TURNOVER WILL DECREASE BY 30 PER CENT IN THE COMING MONTH, BUT CAN I APPLY LATER IF MY TURNOVER DECREASES IN ONE OF THE SUBSEQUENT MONTHS?
If a business does not meet the turnover test at the start of the JobKeeper scheme on 30 March 2020, the business can start receiving the JobKeeper Payment at a later time once the turnover test has been met. In this case, the JobKeeper Payment is not backdated to the commencement of the scheme. Businesses can receive JobKeeper Payments up to 27 September 2020.
IF I HAVE STOOD DOWN MY EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PAY AFTER 1 MARCH 2020 CAN I ‘BACK PAY’ THEM TO 30 MARCH 2020?
Yes. If you want to claim the JobKeeper Payment for your employees you will need to confirm your eligible employees want to be part of the scheme and arrange for them to be paid a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight before tax from 30 March 2020.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO CONTINUE PAYING MY ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES UNTIL THE PAYMENTS ARE MADE?
The JobKeeper Payment is a reimbursement scheme that will be paid by the ATO monthly in arrears. In cases where this may present cash flow difficulties, those businesses may want to speak to their bank to discuss their options. The banks have said businesses may be able to use the upcoming JobKeeper payment as a basis to seek credit in order to pay their employees until the scheme is making its first payments.
AM I REQUIRED TO PAY PAYGW AND SUPERANNUATION ON THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
You must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to your eligible employees, withholding income tax as appropriate. The $1,500 per fortnight per employee is a before tax amount. Where an employee is paid more than $1,500 per fortnight, the employer’s superannuation obligations will not change. Where an employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper Payment, it will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wages paid by the JobKeeper Payment.
WILL THE ATO USE THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS TO OFFSET A BAS DEBT?
The payment will generally be paid directly to the employer and not used to offset tax liabilities, as the intent is that it is a payment that facilitates employers to pay their employees.