In efforts to support businesses and employees during the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government announced wage subsidies of over $130 billion.
Under the ‘JobKeeper Payment,’ businesses impacted by the Covid-19 will receive a subsidy from the government worth $1,500 fortnightly. Employers will then use the money to pay their employees and to be operational. The scheme took effect on March 30, 2020, and will run for six months.
According to the federal government, it is important to support the country’s economy from economic shocks. “The economic impacts of the coronavirus pose significant challenges for many businesses – many of which are struggling to retain their employees,” the government wrote.
The temporary scheme is the third and largest package of the government. There are criteria for employers and employees to be eligible.
Employers are eligible for the ‘JobKeeper’ subsidy if:
-the business has an annual turnover of less than $1 billion and the turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent in revenue.
-business has an annual turnover of $1 billion or more and the turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent in revenue.
-the business must have an established employment relationship with eligible employees as of March 1, 2020.
-self-employed people and not-for-profit entities including charities that meet the turnover requirement.
-businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy are not eligible
Employees are eligible for the ‘JobKeeper’ subsidy if:
-currently employed by an eligible business (stood down or re-hired included).
-16 years of age or above.
-were employed at March 1, 2020.
-are Australian citizen, holder of the following: permanent visa, Protected Special Category Visa Holder, subclass 444 visa holder and a non-protected Special Category Visa Hodler (has been a resident continually in the country for more than 10 years).
-are full-time, part-time or long-term casual employees (employed on a regular basis more than 12 months as at March 1, 2020).
-they are not in receipt of the wage subsidy scheme from another employer.
Important reminder: Employees who receive their ‘JobKeeper’ payment, they must report it as income. Employers can now register their interests.
Battle Against Coronavirus
The federal government is working with research institutes, state governments, and businesses in their battle against the pandemic. Stricter restrictions are in motion to flatten the curve in the coming weeks.