The Prime Minister has already asked businesses to hold off further shutdowns or job cuts ahead of its third stimulus package. Today we found out why, and if that request was a reasonable one.
UPDATE: 4:30 pm - 30.03.20
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures."
At a cost of $130 billion over the next 6 months, The Federal Government is providing additional support with the announcement of an economic package that "focuses on keeping Australians in jobs, and businesses in business."
This support is available to all eligible firms and businesses, not just small businesses, and brings the total support from the Federal Government to more than $320 billion.
Announcing a $1,500 a-fortnight wage subsidy for employees (and, in turn, employers) the new package will provide additional financial and employment security when it's needed most, and keep employees connected to their employers.
This $1,500 payment doesn't need to be broken down. It's a flat payment and is the equivalent to 70% of the median wage, and represents almost 100% of the median wage in those sectors most affected by COVID-19 and the current markets, including tourism and hospitality.
Who is the payment available to?
The fortnightly payments are available to all full-time and part-time workers, and to all casual employees who have been with their employer for a minimum of 12 months. If Employees have been stood down since March 1st, they are still eligible if their employer is. Remember, this scheme is all about keeping people in jobs, and businesses in business.
New Zealanders in Australia on 444 Visas are covered by the Job Keepers scheme.
Full eligibility terms (as announced so-far by the government) can be found at the bottom of this page.
In terms of Employers, the scheme is available to businesses who have seen a decrease in turnover of 30% or more. For those who have let go of employees since March 1st 2020, you now have the means to bring these employees back onto your books and pay them the Job Keeper wage of $1,500 a fortnight for six months.
When do employees get Paid?
The JobKeeper payment will be delivered through the ATO and the single touch payroll system. This requires that the businesses keep the employees on the books in order to distribute the payment.
When do Employers get paid?
Employers will be able to pay employees as soon as they are registered, and back-payment for employers will be issued at the beginning of May. Covering all costs from March first until May.
How do we get paid?
Employees are advised to engage directly with their employer, where it is recommended for payment to resume in the form of the business's usual processes. The employer, is then reimbursed by the Government for the employee's wages.
This is an encouragement for your business to adapt to the current situation, to continue on until we can all come out of this on the other side, and things return to (some form of) normal. Employers can visit the ATO website and register online today.
The Key Points?
This scheme is a 6-month scheme, providing $1,500 fortnightly payments for all eligible employees/employers.
Anyone already stood down from their jobs from March 1st will also qualify for the Job Keeper scheme for $1,500 per fortnight.
Employers that have seen a 30% drop in turnover are eligible for the Job Keeper payment scheme. Head to ATO.gov.au to register
Employees, make contact with your employer and enter into the arrangements.
Job Keeper vs Job Seeker Payments - If you've applied for Job Seeker, you can transfer to Job Keeper payment and we implore you to do so. You cannot claim both.
"Businesses have a legal obligation to keep their employees on their books."
JobKeeper Full Eligibility Terms:
Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.
Full time and part-time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment. Employees will be able to receive this payment in a number of different ways.
• If you ordinarily receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your regular income according to the prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payments will subsidise part or all of your income.
• If you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
• If you have been stood down, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
• If you were employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment and then were re-engaged by the same eligible employer, you will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.