Date posted: 1/04/2020

Federal Government coronavirus economic stimulus stage 3

Measures include subsidies to support telehealth services, mental health support, community support and employees and businesses -the JobKeeper payment grappling with the fall-out of the spread of COVID-19.

In brief

  • The JobKeeper Payment
  • Who can apply and how to apply?
  • Who is an eligible employee?

The Federal Government has announced further support towards Medicare subsidised telehealth services, mental health support, community support and stage 3 of its economic plan to help businesses and workers affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Stage 3 is a subsidy program to support employees and businesses -the JobKeeper payment.

The JobKeeper Payment

  • The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses that have been impacted by Coronavirus and have seen significant reductions of between 30% – 50% in annual turnover
  • The government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to 6 months.
  • Aims to support employers to maintain connection to their employees while the business is experiencing a downturn so when the crisis is over, businesses can reactivate their operations again quickly
  • The Jobkeeper Payment will also be available to self-employed.

Who can apply?

Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month), or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered or expect to suffer a 30 per cent decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least a month).

How to apply

  • Businesses need to apply to the ATO to participate in the scheme and provide supporting information demonstrating a downturn in their business. They also need to report the number of eligible employees employed by the business on a monthly basis
  • At this stage, the ATO is unable to comment further until the proposed legislation is enacted by Parliament. The ATO has advised against phoning at this stage, as answers to many questions asked are still being determined
  • The ATO encourages employers looking to take advantage of the JobKeeper payment to register for updates at www.ato.gov.au/JobKeeper and the ATO will contact those registered as soon as more information is available.   

Who is an eligible employee?

  • Employees on the books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by the business
  • Includes full-time, part-time, long-term casuals (been with the business on a regular basis for at least 12 months as at 1 March 2020) and stood down employees
  • An employee must be 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.

ATO JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.

Find out more

Treasury website

To keep up to date with the latest information and find out more about eligibility requirements, view the JobKeeper payment webpage. Treasury is constantly updating the factsheets available on the webpage.

Find out more

JobKeeper crunch time for employer decision making

Many Australian employers will need to gear up rapidly for lots of JobKeeper questions from employees, even those laid off since 1 March 2020, according to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Read more