The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020 (Cth) was assented to on 8 April 2020 and will introduce a $1500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment for each employee in order to support business and encourage them to retain employees. The scheme operates from 30 March until 27 September 2020 and is divided into fortnightly periods. The payments are intended to subsidise wages for full-time, part-time and casual employees (will only cover casual employees if they have been employed on a regular basis for over 12 months) that were employed on or before 1 March 2020. The JobKeeper payments will also include employees who have subsequently been stood down. Businesses will be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments insofar as:
- The business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and suffers a 30% drop in turnover for at least a month; or
- The business ha a turnover of more than $1 billion and suffers a 50% drop in turnover for at least a month
- Registered charities will be eligible for the program if they have suffered a 15% loss in their turnover.
It is important to note that the JobKeeper payment is subject to a wages condition. This means that the JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement of amounts already paid to an employee during a fortnight during the operation of the scheme. As a result, employers will only be entitled to receive the reimbursement if the employer has already paid at least $1500 per fortnight including salary, wages, commission, bonus’, allowances, PAYG withholding and superannuation contributions made by way of salary sacrifice. To learn more about the scheme please click here.