An Update on JobKeeper

It's now official, so how can you access it?

By: Worksmith

Now that it has successfully made its way through parliament, here's a quick recap of the JobKeeper package and what it's offering.

  • Businesses affected by COVID-19 can receive $1,500 per employee, per fortnight. These businesses must pass the payment on to their staff

  • The wage subsidy package is budgeted for six months

  • As of Wednesday morning, 750,000 businesses had signed up and that number is growing

  • Employees can only claim JobKeeper Payment from one employer.

Are You Eligible?

Unfortunately, as excellent as it would be for everybody in the hospitality industry (and beyond) to be covered by JobKeeper, to create a stimulus that would cover employees is simply not feasible.

There are specific criteria you and your employer need to meet to be eligible for JobKeeper, including that you’re currently employed or were employed by your work on March 1, 2020.
*This includes anyone that has been stood down or re-hired since then.

As was originally announced, you will need to be either a full-time or part-time employee, or a casual worker who has been employed regularly with the same employer for more than 12 months.

When it comes it visa status, this is where we’re at: You need to be an Australian citizen, someone with a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa holder, a no-protected Special Category Visa holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (444) Visa holder.

Is it Taxed?

Yes, it is.

JobKeeper is paid to you by your employer, not the Government, so the same tax rules apply.

  • You should also note that you won’t be paid superannuation for your JobKeeper payment, but you will be paid Super for any other income from your employer that night be supplemented by JobKeeper.

  • On the other hand, if you’re receiving JobSeeker payment, you won’t be taxed.

When Will You be paid?

That depends on your employer. If they are in the fortunate position to start paying the $1,500-a-fortnight now (and claim the money back from the ATO in May), then you should receive payment in your usually scheduled pay run.
If your employer isn’t in that position, you may have to wait until the beginning of May when the payment starts flowing to businesses.

Do I have to be Working to Get JobKeeper Payment?

If you don’t have any work to do, then technically you don’t. For some businesses (like a bar/cafe/restaurant), the restrictions enforced means they are unable to offer their services like they usually would or in a limited way (e.g. takeaway/delivery).

In these cases, employees who may not have to work at all or may work reduced hours will still receive JobKeeper Payment.