Australian Government announces $130 billion JobKeeper Payment in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Government is introducing a subsidy program to support employees and businesses. The JobKeeper Payment is designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income.


The JobKeeper Payment will support employers to maintain their connection to their employees. These connections will enable business to reactivate their operations quickly – without having to rehire staff – when the crisis is over.

In summary:

  • Under this proposal the government will provide eligible businesses with funding of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to 6 months.
  • The JobKeeper Payment is provided in addition to the previously legislated stimulus packages and goes a step further to help support those businesses and employees that have suffered significant financial impacts as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Importantly this payment will also be available to the self-employed and not-for-profit organisations.

Eligibility – Employers

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent; or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover has fallen by more than 50 per cent; and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

To calculate if a business has faced the required percentage fall in their turnover, the business would need to compare their turnover for the month of March 2020 (for monthly BAS lodgers) or three months January-March 2020 (for quarterly BAS lodgers) with the income reported for the relative period a year earlier.

The Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information where special circumstances exist, such as a new business which was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover.  We suspect there will be a special application required in these circumstances however further details will be provided by the ATO in due course.

Not-for-profit entities (including charities) and self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.

Eligibility – Employees

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, 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; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.

Application Process

The Government has advised all employers to register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via so they are kept up to date with when information becomes available.  This registration only takes 30 seconds to complete and requires the business to simply provide their ABN and contact details.

Once this legislation has passed through Parliament, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme via an online application with the ATO making the first payments to employers in the first week of May 2020.

Payment Process

Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment.

Where employers participate in the scheme, their employees will receive this payment as follows.

  • If an employee ordinarily receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee(s).
  • If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and then has been re-engaged by the same eligible employer, the employee will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment. Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO.

What you need to do:

  1. Eligible employers should register their interest for the JobKeeper payment with the ATO straight away via the ATO website
  2. Business accounting records should be updated to the end of March 2020 as soon as possible to determine impact on business turnover
  3. Identify all eligible employees of your business as you will need to provide these details to the ATO once applications open
  4. Wait for further information on the application process and finer details of the scheme to be released by the Government

These are the details which have been announced at this stage however further clarification on the operation of the scheme is expected over the coming weeks once legislation has been passed.  We will be doing our best to follow up with all effected clients who may qualify for this payment.  However, if you wish to discuss any of these items and how they may impact on your business, please do not hesitate to contact the office on 9898 9221.