I’m an employee. How does JobKeeper impact me?

Posted on 15/04/2020 by Sinclair Wilson in COVID-19, News

Last month, the Federal Government announced the JobKeeper program – a $130billion subsidy program so businesses can continue to keep employees ‘on their books’ even if a business is forced to close due to a COVID-19-related downturn.

Last week, this initiative became law, meaning that an estimated 6 million Australians will, over the next six months, receive $1500 per fortnight wage subsidy via their employer.

So, now that it’s official, what does JobKeeper mean for you, as an employee?

How do I know if I am eligible?

You are an eligible employee if you:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including if you were stood down or re-hired).
  • were for the eligible employer (or another entity in their wholly owned group), either a
    • permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020
    • long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
  • were aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020.
  • were either
    • an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991) – visit the Services Australia website and read residence descriptions for more details
    • an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020.
  • were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
    • government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
    • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.

If you started work with your current employer after 1 March 2020, your employer will not be eligible to claim the JobKeeper payment on your behalf.

If you aren’t eligible to be paid JobKeeper payments by your employer, you may be able to apply for support through Services Australia depending on your personal circumstances.

If you are unsure, you should contact one of our Accountants, who are monitoring the JobKeeper legislation and advice every day – they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

It’s important to remember that your employer has to eligible for you to receive a JobKeeper payment – you will need to check with them to clarify this. There is a good chance they will also need to get in touch with us or their Accountant to clarify if they qualify for JobKeeper. 

Will the JobKeeper payment be paid directly to me?

No. If your employer is eligible for the payment, they claim it AND you are eligible to receive it, the ATO will provide the subsidy to your employer to pass on to you. So, it will be like your fortnightly pay (only, it could be more or less than what you might normally receive.)

Will the full $1500 land in my bank account each fortnight?

Tax will be withheld from the payment, so you may receive less than $1,500 in your bank account.You wi

Provided my employer is eligible to receive it, and has applied, how do I make sure I receive the JobKeeper Payment?

There’s five steps we suggest to ensure you receive the JobKeeper payment (provided your employer has registered and will receive it.)

  1. Check that you meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Talk to your employer and let them know if you want them to claim the JobKeeper payment for you.
  3. If you have more than one job
    • Choose the employer you want to claim the JobKeeper payment for you. You can only choose one employer. If you are a long-term casual at one workplace, but a casual employee at another, you can only choose the permanent employer.
    • Let your chosen employer know that you want them to claim the JobKeeper payment for you.
    • Let your other bosses know you have nominated a different employer to receive the JobKeeper payment on your behalf.
  4. Fill out the JobKeeper employee nomination notice your employer will have given you, and give it back to them as soon as possible. It’s a physical record that you have authorised them to collect and pay JobKeeper for and to you.

What about my Superannuation?

Employers must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on regular wages – but it is up to your employer whether they pay super on the additional JobKeeper payments.

For example:

Before she was stood down at the restaurant where she was a part time waitress, Jane was typically paid $1200 a fortnight, plus super.

This month, she started to receive the $1500 JobKeeper payment – her employer must pay superannuation on the $1200 she would typically receive.

It will be up to Jane’s employer to decide if they can afford to pay super on the remaining $300.

I had already started the process of claiming JobSeeker payments when JobKeeper was announced. What should I do?

If you already receive – or are mid-way through the process of registering for – a Services Australia payment such as JobSeeker, you must contact Services Australia and let them know your employer is participating in the JobKeeper program.

Receiving JobKeeper AND Services Australia payments at the same time may incur a Services Australia debt that you will be compelled to repay. People’s circumstances will differ – if you are in doubt, contact Services Australia for clarification.

I run a business, and I am an employee of that business. What do I do?

Information about this is still coming. What we do know at the moment is that if you run a business, but are also a permanent employee, you cannot nominate to be an eligible business participant of that business.

We are monitoring the Government advice daily and will make sure we provide information relevant to business participants as soon as we can.

I still don’t understand how this will work

Speak to an Accountant about what questions you may still have. Because the program and legislation are new, and have been introduced so quickly amidst lots of other information and commentary, we know there are many details people aren’t clear about. That’s why we are here to help.

Contact Sinclair Wilson’s Accounting Team to find out how this new program applies to you.