The Federal Government has just announced a further wage subsidy scheme to provide job security for employees and provide them with the best chance of keeping their jobs.  This measure represents a further $130 billion to Australian workers over the next 6 months to help build a bridge to recovery.

Full-time workers, part-time workers including stood down employees and casual employees who have been with their current employer for 12 months or greater, will be entitled to a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight administered through their employer via the Australian Taxation Office and the Single Touch Payroll System.

The aim of this new measure is for employers (including not for profits) to keep employees working with the support of the Federal Government so that the business can continue to operate and emerge stronger on the other side.

This system will help maintain a formal connection with employers and employees throughout the crisis and avoid the need for employees to access other income support benefits through the Centrelink system.

The $1,500 per fortnight flat payment represents 70% of the median Australian wage and represents 100% of the median wage in sectors that have been the hardest hit so far.

To be eligible, employees must have been actively working with their current employer from at least 1 March 2020.  In addition, employers will need to confirm their turnover has reduced by 30% or more (for businesses with turnover < $1 billion).

Workers that have recently been stood down, but have not yet been able to access Centrelink benefits, will also be eligible for this employee allowance with their employer, as long as they were on the businesses’ payroll on 1 March 2020.

Payments will be processed from 1 May 2020 and will be backdated  to 30 March 2020.

You can register your interest for the Job Keeper payment through the link below and you will be sent further updates from the Australian Taxation Office accordingly.

https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/

Employees will only be able to receive one type of payment: “Job Keeper” payment through their employer or the “Job Seeker” payment via Centrelink.

Legislation is still to be drafted and we will provide more details as it comes to hand.

Update to Job Seeker Payment

The Federal Government has also now changed the partner income test for the Job Seeker Payment (administered via Centrelink) with partners of those receiving benefits now permitted to earn up to $79,762 a year (up from $48,000) before the unemployed partner losses entitlement for income assistance.

For any assistance in relation to these new measures, please contact your Cooper Reeves Advisor.