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Changes to JobKeeper - employees

The Government has legislated changes to the existing JobKeeper scheme in relation to new employees now being eligible to receive payments.

The changes allow employees who were employed between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 to receive JobKeeper payments (assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria).

These employees will be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments from Fortnight 10 onwards. Fortnight 10 commenced on the 3rd of August. The ATO have extended the time period to pay the minimum wage requirement for new eligible employees until 31st August (due to the late announcement) - this is detailed below as well as the due dates for important requirements.

Please note that the proposed changes in relation to the extension of the scheme after September including the subsequent eligibility re-assessments and changes to payment rates are still not yet law. This fact sheet details the current proposed changes - all changes still need to be passed through parliament to become legislation. This is expected to occur around the beginning of September.

If you hired employees between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 and they meet the existing eligibility criteria (listed at the end of this email) then you need to ensure they receive the minimum wage amount of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight. All new employees commencing between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 also need to be provided with employee nomination notices by Monday 24th August. You cannot claim JobKeeper for an employee if you do not have a signed notice from the employee. Download the form here. New employees will only be eligible for Fortnight 10 (3 August - 16 August) onwards, therefore you will need to pay your new eligible employees the minimum of $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight for Fortnight 10 ongoing. Further information about this is below. You will also need to ensure your new employees are reported to the ATO correctly through Single Touch Payroll - find guidance below to assist you with this.

Wage payments

The JobKeeper wage condition states that employees need to be paid by the end of the relevant JobKeeper fortnight to be eligible, however the ATO has extended the wage condition (for new employees only) until 31st August for Fortnights 10 and 11. Put simply, new eligible employees who have provided a completed employee nomination notice (link above) must receive at least $3,000 (before tax) before 31st August for the employer to be eligible for a reimbursement by the ATO. If they do not receive at least $3,000, you cannot claim JobKeeper for them.

From Fortnight 12 onwards, all eligible employees must be paid $1,500 within each fortnight to remain eligible to claim JobKeeper. For the existing JobKeeper scheme which ends 27 September, the fortnights and required payment dates are as follows:

  • Fortnight 12: 31 August to 13 September - employee must be paid on or before 13th September.

  • Fortnight 13: 14 September to 27 September - employee must be paid on or before 27 September.

You must identify your eligible employees in your payroll reporting system prior to the 31st of August. To do this, you will need to set their First JobKeeper fortnight as Fortnight 10 (3 August - 16 August) in the JobKeeper reporting centre of your relevant software and ensure this is filed via Single Touch Payroll.  Here are the JobKeeper Single Touch Payroll guides for MYOB and Xero. Get in touch if you are having issues or need help with this.

A new employee is eligible to receive JobKeeper payments if they are all of the following :

  • Employed during the relevant fortnights.

  • Not in receipt of any of the following payments - government parental leave, Dad and partner pay or workers compensation for total incapacity for work.

  • Hired at any point between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 as a non-casual employee or a long-term casual employee (a long term casual employee will now be eligible if they were employed regularly during the period 2 July 2019 to 1 July 2020, read more here).

  • Aged at least 18 years old (or an independent 16 or 17 year old).

  • An Australian resident.

Read more regarding eligibility here.

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