COVID-19

Government announces $130b JobSeeker Payment

Published: 6 April 2020

On 30 March, the Federal Government announced a new $130 billion JobKeeper package, which aims to keep workers connected with their employers and keep Australians in jobs. 

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. 

Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. 

Snapshot

  • $130 billion wage subsidy package available to businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • Payments of $1500 per fortnight for a maximum of six months
  • Eligible businesses can register their interest in the scheme from 30 March 2020.
  • Payments will begin in May but backdated to 30 March 2020 
  • Tax Commissioner has the discretion to set out alternative assessment criteria 

To receive the JobKeeper Payment, both an employer and employee must meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligible employers

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their turnover is less than $1 billion and has fallen by more than 30 per cent; or
  • their turnover is greater than $1 billion and has fallen by more than 50 per cent; and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as of 1 March 2020 and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged to receive JobKeeper Payments.

Eligible employees

Employees are eligible for the subsidy if they:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer on 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time or long-term casuals (a casual employed regularly for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, hold a permanent visa or a Special Category visa; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper payment as income.

Businesses without employees

Businesses without employees (e.g. self-employed) can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Businesses without employees will need to:

  • provide an ABN for their business,
  • nominate an individual to receive the payment and
  • provide that individual’s Tax File Number; and
  • provide a declaration as to recent business activity. 

Self-employed people will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual's bank account.

Further details for the self-employed are available on ato.gov.au.

How to apply

Businesses with employees can register their interest in the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

They will then need to complete an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO. 

Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment. Further details for businesses are available via the ato.gov.au.

Further Information

Quick Employer Guide to JobSeeker Payment

  • Download Quick Employer Guide here.

Australian Government Factsheets:

  • JobKeeper Payment - Information for employers
  • JobKeeper Payment - Information for employees
  • Supporting businesses to retain jobs