TACC news

Coronavirus: JobKeeper steps

13 May 2020

The final opportunity for employers to claim paid wages from April and May is looming, with the JobKeeper subsidy enrolment deadline closing on Sunday 31 May. Members requiring help with the application process or advice on eligibility, can contact the VACC Industrial Relations Department on 03 98291123.

To help Australia withstand and recover from the economic impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced further government assistance, with a commitment totalling $130 billion over the next six months. The unprecedented move includes the introduction of a JobKeeper Payment.

For member convenience, below are some key JobKeeper takeaways:

Overview
Under the JobKeeper Payment, eligible businesses (small, medium and large) impacted by Coronavirus are able to receive support, with the Government providing $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to six months. The JobKeeper Payment is also available to the self-employed.

Eligibility
To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:

  • Have an annual turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover has or will be reduced by more than 30 percent, or
  • Have an annual turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover has or will be reduced by more than 50 percent, and
  • Not be subject to the Major Bank Levy
  • Have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as of 1 March.


Note: Apprentice subsidy and the JobKeeper allowances. The guidelines for Supporting Apprentices and Trainees says ‘An employer or GTO will not be eligible for Supporting Apprentices and Trainees where the employer has received, or is in receipt of the Australian Apprentice Wage subsidy or equivalent Australian Government wage subsidy for the same Australian Apprentice’. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has confirmed that the JobKeeper subsidy is considered ‘equivalent’ so an employer could not be in receipt of both payments for the same apprentice/trainee.

How to apply
Enrol via Business Portal using myGovID.

For more specific and up to date information on how to enrol, identify and declare, and key dates, refer to ATO's JobKeeper guides.

There are a number of steps you need to follow as part of the enrolment process, as well as effectively consulting and communicating with your employees. You need to ensure certain requirements are met, including ensuring employees complete the Employee Nomination Notice, confirming in writing that you intend to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and ensure you have the agreement of each eligible employee to be nominated for the scheme.

How do can VACC help?
Members needing advice on how to access the JobKeeper Payments or how to set up payroll processes should email new VACC IR resource, Andrea Walko (achwalko@vacc.com.au). Additionally, together with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), VACC has drafted a set of checklists and accompanying template letters to assist members. The documents are available to download at the bottom of this article.

Please note that if members require specific financial or tax advice, they may be referred instead to their accountant, in order to determine what is best for their individual circumstances. For example, working through the Business Boost or JobKeeper would in most circumstances be straight forward. However, if a member would like to utilise the increased Instant Asset Write Off, members would need to go to their accountant to determine if this is appropriate for them.

For more information
VACC Industrial Relations: JobKeeper Payment - Quick Employer Guide (Edition 7)
VACC/ACCI: JobKeeper checklists and template letters
Treasury fact sheet: JobKeeper Payment - Frequently asked questions
Treasury fact sheet: JobKeeper Payment - Information for employers 
Business.gov.au: JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees
Australian Taxation Office: JobKeeper Payment​
Deloitte: JobKeeper: Important updates on 1 May

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