JobKeeper Update & Important Dates
The ATO have made a few changes and updates to the Jobkeeper Payment which we have listed out for you below.
Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme
The Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.
If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.
Payment of $1500.00 to your eligible Employees
For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020. If you do not pay your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights.
Long-Term Casual Employees & Other Permanent Wages
Your business cannot claim for eligible “casual” employees if they are a permanent employee for another workplace. Its ok if they are casual at their other workplace, but if they are part-time of full-time, than they are NOT able to be part of the $1500 jobkeeper employee in your business.
Remember also that your casual employees must have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020 to be an eligible employee.
I am a Sole Trader/Self-Employed and also have a job. Am I eligible for the JobKeeper Payment as the Business owner?
To be eligible as a sole trader/self-employed individual, you must NOT be a permanent employee of any other employer (but can be a casual).
However, you may be eligible for a JobKeeper Payment as part of your employment wages at work. You will need to speak to your employer about it.
See examples below:
Sole Trader & Employee
Zora is a sole trader and actively manages her florist business, Flowers by Zora. She is also employed in another business owned by another entity on a permanent part-time basis as an administrative assistant.
The Flowers by Zora business has suffered a significant downturn due to COVID-19. Zora’s hours at her office job have been cut as a result of COVID-19, causing a decline in the business of her employer.
Zora is an eligible employee for the purpose of the JobKeeper Payment scheme for her part time job as an administrative assistant, and her employer qualifies for a JobKeeper payment for her employment.
Zora, in her capacity as a sole trader, is NOT eligible for the JobKeeper payment because she is an employee of another entity. This conclusion would be the same whether her employer qualifies for JobKeeper payments or not.
Sole Trader with more than one Business:
You CANNOT qualify for the JobKeeper payment twice. Matthew is a sole trader and actively runs two businesses and both are eligible for the business owner. Mathew CANNOT however, qualify for the JobKeeper payment twice on the basis that he runs two businesses. He can only nominate under the JobKeeper Payment scheme himself as the eligible business participant for the one entity (himself as sole trader).
Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old:
The rules will provide that full time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are NOT eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. This clarification will apply prospectively, which would mean an eligible employer that has already met the wage condition of paying such an employee $1,500 for a fortnight could be entitled to a JobKeeper Payment in arrears for that fortnight.
The benefit of the JobKeeper payment to workers over the age of 16 is justified for those who are financially independent and who require the security provided by participation in the JobKeeper scheme and the maintenance of the working relationship that it affords.
“One in, all in” principle:
Once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by the employer, the employer must ensure that ALL of these eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme.
This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer CANNOT select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme, and which ones can’t. As noted in the explanatory statement to the existing rules, this ‘one in, all in’ principle is already a key feature of the scheme and will be made clearer in the rules.
If you haven’t spoken to us about it and would like our help just call our office on 5366 1000 and press 1 or respond to this email.
For the clients that we have been helping to prepare for these payments, remember to send us in your signed Engagement Letter, Employee Nomination Notices as well as the Business Participant Nomination Form.