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ATO JobKeeper Payment

Employers

If your business is affected by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to access the JobKeeper payment to assist you to be able to continue paying your employees.

Employers can choose to participate in the scheme and then nominate the employees they are entitled to claim for. An employer can choose not to participate in the JobKeeper payment.

Eligible employers

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced a
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories.

You should note that the turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, but there are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group. We will provide further information soon about applying the turnover test.

You will be able to enrol in the JobKeeper scheme from 20 April 2020 using an online form on our website. After you enrol, you will later identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to us.

If you have registered with the ATO for an update on the JobKeeper Payment, you will soon receive a notification from the ATO when the online enrolment is available.

Aggregated turnover

Your aggregated turnover broadly includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with you, subject to specific adjustments (for example, for transactions between you and those other entities). These connected entities or affiliates may be based in Australia or overseas.

How to determine a fall in turnover

You only need to satisfy this requirement once – you don’t need to retest turnover each month.
At the time you enrol in the JobKeeper payment scheme, you need to confirm that your business in a relevant period has had, or is likely to have, a:

  • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
  • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
  • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).

How to calculate a fall in turnover for the first fortnight starting 30 March 2020

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

How you choose to project your fall in turnover is not dependent on whether you report a quarterly or monthly BAS, though you can do that if it is easier. The turnover calculation is based on GST turnover, but there are some modifications, including disregarding GST grouping (where two or more associated business entities operate as a single GST group). We will provide more information soon about applying the turnover test.

If you work out that you qualify for the JobKeeper payments for the first fortnight because your turnover has declined by the relevant amount, you remain eligible and do not need to keep testing turnover in following months. However, you will have ongoing monthly reporting requirements.

Your Eligible Employees

Your employee is eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:

  • are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired)
  • were either a
    • permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020
    • long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer
  • were at least 16 years of age on 1 March 2020
  • were an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991, which requires that they reside in Australia, and are one of an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa Holder. Your employee can also be an Australian tax resident who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder. Employees who are not permanent residents of Australia must notify you of their visa status to allow you to determine if they are eligible.
  • were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
    • government parental leave or Dad and partner pay
    • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work
  • agree to be nominated by you

You cannot claim for any employees who:

  • were first employed by you after 1 March 2020, or
  • left your employment before 1 March 2020, or
  • have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer.

Casual employees are not eligible unless they were employed by you on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020.

If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they must choose the permanent employer and cannot nominate you. They cannot receive the JobKeeper payment from more than one employer.

Nominating employees

Before you enrol to receive JobKeeper payments, you need to notify each eligible employee that you intend to nominate them as eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme.

You must tell those employees that you have nominated them as an eligible employee to claim the JobKeeper payment. They must agree to be nominated by you by completing the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice and returning it to you for your records.

The nomination form does not need to be provided to the ATO however employers are required to keep a copy of the completed form as part of their record keeping obligations under the law.

Employees who were stood down or on long term leave

Employees who have been stood down from work under the Fair Work Act 2009 without pay may still be eligible employees as long as they were in your employment and met the eligibility criteria on 1 March 2020.

You will need to have paid them at least the minimum amount of $1,500 for each fortnight you claim for, to receive the JobKeeper payment.

Employees who have been terminated

If you terminated an employee after 1 March 2020, you can re-engage them and they will be eligible if they met the eligibility criteria on 1 March 2020.
If you want to claim the JobKeeper payment for employees you have re-engaged, you will need to:

  • confirm they want to be re-hired and participate in the JobKeeper scheme with you
  • re-engage the employees you want to claim for
  • ask them to complete the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice and return it to you. You are required to keep this form as part of your records keeping obligations under the law
  • start paying them a minimum of $1,500 (before tax) for each fortnight they are employed and you claim for.

You will only be paid a JobKeeper payment for employees from the fortnight they were re-engaged. You cannot claim retrospectively for employees you re-engage.

Enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment

To enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment, you follow the steps below.

Enrol for the JobKeeper payment (from 20 April onwards)

You or a registered tax professional can enrol for the JobKeeper payment:

  • Step 1 – Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper Payment updates.
  • Step 2 – Check you and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Step 3 – Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).
  • Step 4 – Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
  • Step 5 – Send the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
  • Step 6 – From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with us for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
  • Step 7 – In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example if you are a sole trader.
  • Step 8 – Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

Confirmation of eligible employees you will claim JobKeeper Payment for (available from 4 May 2020 onwards)

You or a registered tax agent can apply for the JobKeeper payment for your eligible employees:

  • Step 1 – Apply to claim the JobKeeper payment by logging in to the ATO Business Portal
  • Step 2 – Ensure you have paid each eligible employee a minimum of $1,500 per JobKeeper fortnight before tax.
  • Step 3 – Identify your eligible employees in the application form by
    • selecting employee details that are prefilled from your STP pay reports if you report payroll information through an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    • manually entering employee details in ATO online services or the Business Portal if you do not use an STP enabled payroll solution, or
    • using a registered tax agent who will submit a report on your behalf through Online services for agents.
  • Step 4 – Submit the confirmation of your eligible employees online and wait for your confirmation email or SMS showing it has been received.
  • Step 5 – Notify your eligible employees you have nominated them.
  • Step 6 – We will pay you the JobKeeper payment for all eligible employees after receiving your application.
  • Step 7 – Each month, you will need to reconfirm that your reported eligible employees have not changed through ATO online services, the Business Portal or via your registered tax agent. This will ensure you will continue to receive the JobKeeper payments from us. You do not need to retest your reported fall in turnover, but you will need to provide some information as to your current and projected turnover. This will be done in your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.
  • Step 8 – If your eligible employees change or leave your employment, you will need to notify us through your monthly JobKeeper Declaration report.

What do you need to do for your employees?

You need to identify which employees you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for and tell them you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

You need to provide these employees with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and ask them to return it to you by the end of April if you want to claim JobKeeper payment for April.

If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to nominate through. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they cannot nominate you. They cannot receive the JobKeeper payment from more than one employer.

If an employee is currently receiving an income support payment, they must notify Services Australia of their new income to avoid incurring a debt that they will have to repay.

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