JOBKEEPER UPDATE RELEASED

JOBKEEPER UPDATE RELEASED

On 24 April 2020, a media release was published by the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Treasurer clarifying the operation of the rules regarding the JobKeeper payment to ensure the “integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment”.  One of the significant clarifications is regarding the qualification criteria for full time students aged 16 and 17 years old.

We have set out a summary of the rules clarified below:

1. 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.

Importantly, this clarification will apply prospectively, meaning an eligible employer that has already met the wage condition of paying such an employee $1,500.00 for a fortnight may be entitled to a JobKeeper payment in arrears for that fortnight.

2. Employees employed through a special purpose entity, rather than an operating entity:

There will be an alternate decline in turnover test for the eligibility of special purpose service entities (i.e. where business structures use a special purpose entity to employ staff rather than staff being directly employed by an operating entity) that provide employee labour to group members and that have not met the basic test for decline in turnover.

The Government has advised that this alternate test will apply where an entity provides the services of its employees to one or more related entities, where those related entities carry on a business deriving revenue from unrelated third parties.

The alternate test will consider the combined GST turnovers of the related entities using the services of the employer entity.

3. Charities and the treatment of government revenue

Charities (other than schools and universities) will be allowed to elect to exclude Government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test.

4. Religious practitioners

JobKeeper payments will be allowed to be made to religious institutions in respect of religious practitioners (with the exception of those that are students only).

5. ‘One in, all in’ principle

If an employer decides to take part in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by them, then the employer must ensure that all of those eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme.

The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme.

6. International Aid Organisations

Entities that are endorsed under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme or for developed country relief will be allowed to meet the requirement that not-for-profits pursue their objectives principally in Australia.  But the requirement that employees must be Australian residents to be eligible would still apply.

7. Universities: The core Commonwealth Government financial assistance provided to universities will be included in the JobKeeper turnover tests.

You can access a copy of the full media release here: https://joshfrydenberg.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Treasurer-Media-Release-JobKeeper-Update.pdf

ASSISTANCE FROM BANKS

The media release also highlights the following support which banks have agreed to provide:

1. The banks have agreed to set up special hotlines to assist businesses who need finance to bridge the gap until the first JobKeeper payments are made.

The Australian Banking Association has advised that the following JobKeeper hotlines are now live:

ANZ: 1800 571 123

Bank of Melbourne: 1300 784 873

Bank SA: 1300 669 472

BOQ: 1300 55 72 72

Bendigo Bank – web enquiry only

CommBank: 13 26 07

NAB: 1800 JOBKEEPER (1800 562 533)

St George: 1300 730 196

Suncorp Bank: 13 11 55 (then select 1,3,3,1)

Westpac: 1300 731 073

2. The banks have agreed to bring JobKeeper-related applications to the front of the line and work with the ATO to speed up the finance assessment process.

If you need assistance understanding any of the rules relating to the JobKeeper payment or have any other questions related to the scheme, remember that HR Law is here to help.

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