Government JobKeeper Subsidy for Businesses and Sole Traders
On Monday 30th of March, the Government announced its intention to pass an additional legislation for businesses, sole traders and the self-employed who are significantly affected by COVID(19).
The JobKeeper payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to eligible businesses that have employees.
Under the JobKeeper payment, eligible businesses will be able to access a subsidy from the government to continue paying their employees. Affected eligible employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee back payed from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.
If the employers business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and have a downturn in revenue of more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago, they will be eligible for the subsidy.
Sole traders and self-employed are also included in the group of eligible employers.
Eligible employees are those who are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired) or were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020 and are either full time, part time or long term casuals.
These employees must be at least 16 years of age, be Australian citizens or holding a visa that would allow them to access government payments and are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer.
Employers must ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
The first payment will be received by the employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
How to Apply
Businesses with employees, sole traders and self-employed can register their interest in applying the JobKeeper payment via ato.gov.au.
Businesses without employees such as the self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.