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From early May, wage subsidy payments will begin to flow in an effort to help an estimated six million workers keep their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will administer the scheme called ‘JobKeeper’, which will see $1500 paid fortnightly to employers, for each full-time or part-time staff member on their books. Employers will need to demonstrate that they have lost at least 30% of their turnover due to the coronavirus. The scheme will be backdated to today, 30 March, and money will begin to be paid from 1 May.

Sole trader and casual workers with a tenure of more than 12 months will also be entitled to the payments which are expected to last for around six months. Any employee who has been stood down since 1 March will still be eligible for the payment, however employees cannot receive JobKeeper and JobSeeker together.

Employers will have a legal obligation to use the funds to pay their staff, with single touch payroll functions being the ATO’s way of tracking the money.

Workers from New Zealand on 444 visas will also be entitled to the flat payment, as will New Zealanders who reside in Australia and not for profit organisations.

Anyone interested in expressing interest in the scheme can register on the ATO website here. The ATO do not want you to phone them regarding this. Once you have registered your interest, further updates will be sent to you.

Speak to our team

There are several ways in which we may be able to help. It’s always important to get good advice and that’s particularly true in turbulent times. If you need help please talk to us on 1300 448 303 or use our online enquiry form. We can offer initial consultations, advice and support over the phone if you have any concerns about face-to-face meetings.

And please feel free to share this information with your customers to help them plan their business affairs during these challenging times.

Contact us here for more information about the JobKeeper eligibility criteria and how we can assist you to produce a report to show your business performance over the period.

Last updated: 30th March 2020

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