The time to take action is now – JobKeeper payments

The time to take action is now – JobKeeper payments

The wage subsidy to be provided by the Australian government as the JobKeeper payment was warmly received by employers.

An employer can receive the JobKeeper payment for an eligible employee from 30 March 2020, with payments to be made by the government from May 2020.

There are 3 key things all employers need to be doing now:

1. Determine if you, as an employer, are eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment and decide if you are going to apply.

There is a lot of information about the eligibility requirements for an employer for this Payment, including on the Treasury and ATO website.

You need to use this time now to determine if your business qualifies and if it does, decide if you intend to apply.  You must enrol with the ATO and register your intention to claim the Payment.  If you intend to claim for April 2020, you must do this by the end of April 2020.

Enrolments open from 20 April 2020 onward.

2. Determine which of your employees are “eligible employees” and ensure that you have issued the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to them.

If you are an eligible employer and intent to claim the JobKeeper payment, the second thing that needs to be done, is you must identify which employees you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for and tell them you intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for them.

It is a requirement that you provide each such employee with the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and ask them to return it to you by the end of April 2020 if you want to claim JobKeeper payment for April 2020.

The JobKeeper employee nomination notice can be obtained from the ATO website here.

3. If it is your intention to receive the subsidy from 30 March 2020, you need to ensure the business has meet its wage obligations.

This final point cannot be stressed enough.  The JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement.  You need to pay your employees for each fortnight you plan to claim for.

The JobKeeper payment is $1,500.00 (gross) before tax.

If your business intends to claim for April 2020, it must have by 26 April 2020 paid for the first two fortnights (30 March 2020 to 12 April 2020, 13 April 2020 to 26 April 2020).

Guidance from the ATO is as follows:

“This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before the end of April, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before the end of April.”

Accordingly, employers who intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for April 2020 need to be taking the time now to perform a reconciliation to ensure that at least $1,500.00 (gross) per fortnight has been paid to eligible employees and topping up any short fall.

There are some quite urgent steps that need to be taken by employers who intend to claim the JobKeeper payment for April 2020.  If you need assistance in getting your business ready, or understanding any of the requirements, remember that HR Law is here to help.

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