JobKeeper

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Many businesses are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You and your employer may be eligible for JobKeeper payments which can make sure you continue to get an income.

Read below to find out more about JobKeeper, or visit the Centrelink website here.

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What is JobKeeper?

JobKeeper is a payment which the government gives to your employer to help them pay your wages. You will be told by your employer if they have claimed JobKeeper payments. You cannot directly request this payment from the government, but if you think that you are eligible then you can speak to your boss about it.

Am I eligible?

Both your employer and you must be eligible to get JobSeeker payments.

Employer eligibility

To be eligible to receive JobKeeper until 27 September 2020, your employer must have experienced a:

    • 30% fall in turnover (if they normally make $1 billion or less);
    • 50% fall in turnover (if they normally make more than $1 billion); or
    • 15% fall in turnover (if they are an eligible charity).

The fall in turnover is calculated in comparison to their turnover in 2019.

From 28 September 2020, if your employer wants to continue claiming JobKeeper they will need to reassess their eligibility.

To claim JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 your employer will need to show that in the June quarter (April to June 2020) and the September quarter (July to September 2020), their turnover fell by the amounts we mentioned above (as compared to how they did last year).

To claim JobKeeper from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 your employer will need to reassess their eligibility again. They will need to show that in the June quarter (April to June 2020), the September quarter (July to September 2020), and the December quarter (October to December 2020), their turnover fell by the amounts we mentioned above.

This means that if things improve for your employer and their turnover increases, they may not be able to  continue claiming JobKeeper. You can find out more on the Australian Treasury website here.

Employee eligibility

You may be eligible for JobKeeper payments from your employer if, at 1 March 2020, you were:

    • a full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee OR a casual employee if you worked on a regular and systematic basis for your employer for at least 12 months;
    • 18 years old (or 16 or 17 if you are independent or studying full time); and
    • an Australian citizen or holder of a permanent visa or certain special category visa.

Please note you can only claim JobKeeper payments from one employer.

For more information and to find out if you are eligible for JobKeeper payments, you can visit the Australian Taxation Office website here.

How much is the JobKeeper payment?

Until 27 September 2020, the JobKeeper payment is $1,500 per fortnight before tax. You will receive this regardless of how much you ordinarily earn, as long as you are eligible.

From 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper payment rate will be reduced. How
much it will be reduced by depends on how many hours you worked for your

employer in the four weeks before 1 March 2020:

    • If you were working 20 hours or more on average per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, the payment amount will reduce from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight.
    • If you were working less than 20 hours on average per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, the payment will reduce from $1,500 to $750 a fortnight.

From 4 January 2021, the JobKeeper payment will be further reduced:

    • to $1000 a fortnight for employees who were working 20 hours or more on average per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020; and
    • to $650 a fortnight for employees who were working less than 20 hours on average per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020.

It’s important to remember that you can only claim JobKeeper from one employer. This means that the number of hours that you worked in the four weeks before 1 March 2020 are the hours that you work for the employer who is claiming JobKeeper on your behalf.

If your income is normally less than the JobKeep payment, your employer must still pay you the full JobKeep payment each fortnight. If you normally earn more than the JobKeep payment, you should still be paid your normal income, but the JobKeeper payments will help your employer afford your wages.

What if I am a sole-trader or run my own business?

If you are a sole trader, run your own business and or work for another kind of entity (such as a partnership or trust) you may be entitled to JobKeeper payments.

Find out more here to see if you are eligible.

What if I'm not eligible for JobKeeper?

If you are not eligible for JobKeeper payments for any reason, don’t worry! There are other options you may be eligible for, such as JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.

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