Jobkeeper Payments – Who are eligible employers?
Following on from our article about Eligible employees, the following information about eligible employers is correct at 20 April, 2020
JobKeeper – Employer Information
The JobKeeper Package is an employee subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight for 30 March 2020 – 27 September 2020 (note this period can be shortened). It will be paid by the ATO to eligible employers to keep eligible employees engaged with the business.
Who are eligible Employers (businesses)?
Business owners actively engaged in their business can now be paid, including sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies who are not paying a wage. In other words, you don’t need to have employees to qualify for JobKeeper.
For a business to be eligible they need to meet the following criteria:
- On 1 March 2020 you carried on a business
- 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).
- Alternatively, if your income hasn’t reduced per above – you are a new business – you can apply to the ATO anyway (we are waiting on further clarification from the ATO).
- You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020 (refer next section).
How do I calculate if my turnover has dropped enough to qualify?
This has now been clarified by the ATO.
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.
These figures can be calculated on an accrual (when you invoice) basis or cash (when you receive payment) basis.
(note the measure does not need to be the same as your BAS reporting)
For more information see ATO Turnover Test
Payment to Employees
The JobKeeper payment is a subsidy to reimburse employee wages, paying $1,500 per fortnight for up to 13 fortnights; a total of $19,500 per eligible employee.
You need to pay your eligible employees at least the minimum amount of $1,500, even if you re-hire them or they earn less than this per fortnight.
You cannot pay your employees less than $1,500 per fortnight and keep the difference or use for other employees.
You will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if you pay your nominated employee less than $1,500 per fortnight. (Note that the ATO will easily be able to match this information through the Single Touch Payroll lodgements).
For more information see Paying JobKeeper to Employees
Can you reduce an employee’s wages to the $1,500 payment? This is potentially possible, I would encourage you to read the information on Fairwork website JobKeeper and Fairwork and seek your own specialist advice from an employment lawyer or other specialist first.
How do I register?
If you’ve ascertained that you meet the requirements above and are looking to register for JobKeeper I have prepared a checklist detailing the steps involved (Download it here). Registration is done through the ATO Business Portal.
It’s confusing times and information is updated seemingly on a daily basis, so please contact me to discuss your situation if you’re not sure if you’re eligible.