Yesterday the Government announced a further stimulus package to keep businesses and employees afloat during the ongoing Covid-19 challenge. The central feature of the package is a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, per fortnight.
The good news is that this will apply to the non-profit sector. Unlike previous stimulus measures however, the wage subsidy is only available to organisations that have experienced a significant decline in revenue.
Here’s a summary of the key highlights relevant to our clients:
- Titled the ‘JobKeeper payment’, this subsidy will be available over the next 6 months
- Eligible orgs will be those significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. For our clients, it will apply in circumstances where turnover will be reduced, as a result of Covid 19, by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).
- There will be a legal obligation on employers to ensure they pass the full wage subsidy on to employees. It will be a minimum pre-tax payment of $1,500 per fortnight and employers are able to top-up this payment.
- Part-time employees, and casual employees with at least one year in their job, can receive the payment. It will also be available for individuals working in Australia under certain Visa categories. Self-employed workers will be eligible if they have suffered, or expect to suffer, a 30% decline in turnover relative to a comparable prior period (of at least 1 month).
- The payment is planned to start flowing to employers in early May. Payments will be made monthly in arrears by the ATO. They will be backdated to include anyone who was ‘on an employee’s books’ from 1 March 2020, including those that have been ‘stood down’, and are subsequently re-engaged as a result of these new stimulus measures.
- It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
- If you want to participate, you must register your interest via an application to the ATO. Supporting information will need to be provided to demonstrate the downturn in income and the number of eligible employees.
More information is available on the Treasury website.