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Many employers may be able to retain employees amid the coronavirus health emergency by taking advantage of the Australian Government's JobKeeper payment scheme.1
The JobKeeper payment program, is one of a number of initiatives by the Australian Government to support business and provide temporary relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is administered by the Australian Tax Office.
At QSuper we’re committed to supporting our members and employers during the health crisis.
Check here to see if your business is eligible to participate in the scheme. If so, you can then enrol with the ATO to receive the JobKeeper payments.
Eligible employers will receive a monthly payment for each eligible employee.
The first round of payments of $1500 a fortnight for eligible employees were paid from the first week of May 2020.
The JobKeeper scheme was originally schedule to run until 27 September 2020 however on 21 July 2020 the Australian Government announced it would be extended for another six months to 28 March 2021.2
The Government said a two-tiered JobKeeper payment would be introduced from 28 September, “to better align the payment with the incomes of employees before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The full rate per fortnight for eligible employees will be scaled back to $1200 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 and then to $1000 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.2
Employees who were employed for less than 20 hours a week on average in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020 will receive the lower payment rate of $750 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 and then $650 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.2
To receive JobKeeper payments, employers must:
The JobKeeper payments will be passed by the ATO to employers rather than directly to employees.
If you are an employee, check whether your employer will be enrolling in JobKeeper.
Employees will need to fill out an employee nomination notice.
Employees can also find out more information about the program and their eligibility from the ATO.
ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran said an employer’s first step should be to determine their and their employees’ eligibility and desire to participate in the JobKeeper scheme.
"The ATO is working hard to make it as easy as possible for employers to access the JobKeeper payment," Mr O’Halloran said. “The ATO website has all the information employers need to know about how to get ready.
"We know this payment is vital for the community, and we want every eligible employer to be ready to receive the JobKeeper payments to help keep Australians in jobs.
"We will have systems in place to ensure that the payment is made to the eligible employers and will monitor any claims over the months that attract our attention," Mr O’Halloran said.
Learn more about the JobKeeper payment on the ATO’s website.
Read more of our latest updates here.
For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus
1 Australian Tax office, https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/?=redirected_JobKeeper, accessed 16 April 2020.2 Media release 21 July 2020, https://www.pm.gov.au/media/jobkeeper-payment-and-income-support-extended
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