JobKeeper Part 1 – Basic “Draft” Rules Explained For Businesses With Employees
*As at 9 April 2020, these rules have now been finalised*
Last night the Parliament passed the changes to the Fair Work Act and some changes to the Tax Act to allow the JobKeeper payments to be made. However, they deferred the actual “rules” of the JobKeeper scheme to the Treasurer. We have a copy of the “draft” rules. Yesterday, they were released and then taken off the website, so please be aware they are subject to change.
We have set out below a high-level summary of the program as we understand it based on the briefly published draft rules.
There are 6 key steps for JobKeeper. The system is designed around JobKeeper fortnights. The first fortnight starting on 30 March 2020 with the final fortnight ending on 27 September 2020. We are still practically working out what this means for employers who run weekly or fortnightly payrolls on different timing.
- Determine if the employer qualifies. The employer, if carrying on a business on 1 March 2020, will qualify under the following scenarios:
a) If on 30 March 2020, the employer’s GST Turnover for the month ending 31 March 2020 is 30%* lower than March 2019 GST Turnover. If this test is met, the employer is in the system;
b) If on or before the end of each subsequent fortnight, you compare the GST turnover of either a month starting after 31 March or a quarter starting on either 1 April or 1 July, with the relevant comparable period in the previous year, and it is 30% lower, then the employer will qualify from that fortnight onwards; OR
c)The employer meets an alternative test approved by the Commissioner.
- Determine if an individual is an eligible employee. The employee will be an eligible employee in the following circumstances:
a) On 1 March 2020:i) The individual was aged 16 or over; and
ii) The individual was a:
1. permanent employee; or
2. a long term casual employee who was regularly and systematically employed during the last 12 months; and
iii) The individual was an Australian resident, or the individual was a tax resident of Australia and the holder of a Subclass 444 Visa (New Zealand).
b) In the relevant JobKeeper fortnight:
i) The individual is employed at any time by the employer
ii) The individual has given the employer a notice that it complies with certain items (eg not an employee of another entity; not receiving a Jobkeeper subsidy otherwise; nor excluded under other provisions)
iii) The individual is not on paid parental leave
iv) The individual is not on a worker’s compensation arrangement.
- The employer satisfies a “wage condition” for the individual for the fortnight.
The employer will satisfy the wage condition if it paid an amount that equals or exceeds $1,500 in wages, tax on the wages and salary sacrifice superannuation contributions or other payments as otherwise directed by the employee, to the employee. We will provide additional information on amounts of pay and superannuation required.
- The employer notifies the Commissioner that is it electing to participate in the scheme and given the relevant employee details to the Commissioner.
The notification must be in the approved form and for the first or second fortnight of the scheme the notification must occur on or before 26 April 2020. For future fortnights, the notification is required on or before the end of the fortnight.
- The employer notifies the employee within 7 days of the notification in step 4.
- The employer reports to the Commissioner monthly while on the scheme. Within 7 days (not business days, actual days) of the end of the calendar month, the employer must report its current GST turnover for the month and its projected GST turnover for the following month. The first reporting date will be 7th May 2020.
If all of the above conditions are met, the Commissioner will pay the JobKeeper payment of $1,500 per eligible employee per eligible fortnight no later than 14 day after the end of the calendar month in which the fortnight ends to the nominated bank account of the employer. This means the first payment will be made no earlier than 14 May 2020.
As mentioned above, these rules are not yet final, but provide a good basis for employers to start determining if they will apply the scheme.
This is the first part of our analysis and we will provide additional important details in further parts. It is important that you seek advice on these new rules and we are here to assist. We have provided a spreadsheet to our clients with multiple employees to begin collating the information to implement this law. Please let us know if you haven’t received this spreadsheet.
Please do not hesitate to call or email The Macro Group to discuss further with a team member.
*For charities, it is 15%, or entities with GST Turnover of $1bn or more, it is 50%.
Date published: 9 April 2020