If you’re like most business owners, then you’re probably dealing right now with the COVID-19 pandemic the best you can as it’s entirely new grounds for all of us. The economic repercussions of this pandemic model notable difficulties for many Australian businesses, and if you’re struggling to retain employees, it’s ok because please remember, you’re certainly not alone.

If you’re an owner of a business, then you’re probably aware of the JobKeeper payment program introduced by the Australian Government to support us all the best way they can. With the JobKeeper payment, all businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can access a subsidy from the Australian Government so we can continue paying our employees. The government wants to help Australian businesses and keep people in jobs so we can all restart once this crisis is over. For your employees, it means they can retain their positions and earn an income even if their hours have gotten considerably cut.

If you’re an employer who’s impacted by the coronavirus, then this payment benefits you because the government wants us to keep connected with our employees, including the ones who you may have had to stand down. Hence, you’re able to quickly re-engage your team when trading conditions can finally return to normal again.

Here’s what you need to know now about the JobKeeper Payment.

  • Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Australian Government
  • This subsidy was introduced so business owners can still keep paying their employees
  • The affected employers can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee
  • This payment is for each eligible employee who was on the books on 1 March and is retained in employment or continues to be engaged by an employer
  • Every eligible employee must receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight from the business before tax
  • It can get backdated.
  • It’s put into effect from the 30 March 2020 for a maximum of 6 months
  • First payments will get received in the first week of May as payments from the Australian Tax Office
  • Eligible businesses can begin distributing the amount right now and will get reimbursed from the first week of May

Who’s an eligible employer for the JobKeeper Payment?

You’re eligible if,

  • Your business has a turnover of less than $1 billion, and it’s fallen by more than 30 per cent (of at least a month)
  • Your business has a turnover of $1 billion or more, and it’s fallen by more than 50 per cent (of at least a month)
  • Your business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy

As a business owner, you need to ensure all workers in the workplace, regardless of their type of employment, will get treated the same. Whether they are full time, part-time or casual as long as they were employed on 1 March, they are eligible. For casual employees, however, they must have been employed from your business for the last 12 months and no less.

The Australian Government is working vigorously to help and assist us business owners as much as possible. For workers and businesses who have been hit the hardest like, hospitality, retail, fitness, accommodation and others this payment equates to a full median replacement wage.

Business owners, you’re probably thinking, but what about the employees I had to stand down due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well, the excellent news is that although all business owners won’t be receiving this payment per employee until the first week of May, employers should wherever possible start making arrangments to keep our workers who have been stood down since 1 March re-employed.

The Australian Government is calling this subsidy “building a bridge” as it’s helping business owners and our employees keep connected until we’re on the other side of the Corona economic disaster. Scott Morrison wants to maintain a connection between workers and employees by continuing people in their jobs even though the business they work for may go into hibernation and possibly close down for 6 months. Once the economy begins to come back, our businesses will be able to start again easier, and your workforce will be ready to join you because they will remain attached to your business.

If you’ve had to stand down employees without pay, they should receive the $1,500 payment without being required to attend working in your business. As an employer, if you have work for your employees to perform during the standdown period, then those will receive their regular pay. Still, you, as the employer, will continue receiving $1,500 per fortnight as a stimulus for maintaining your employees.

Application Process

  • Employers can register interest and apply for the JobKeeper payment through ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
  • Eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme through an online application.
  • Business owners and employers need to identify their eligible employees and provide monthly updates to the Australian Tax Office.

One saying we’ve heard a lot in the media during this coronavirus pandemic is “we’re all in this together”, and it’s true, we are. It’s a period we’ve never faced before, and we’re all doing our best during this time. Considering the circumstances, our government is supporting us as business owners the best way they can. The Australian Government is helping to keep the economy running and as smoothly as possible during these unprecedented times until we’re out on the other side.

So keep positive, follow the rules and regulations our government has enforced for the protection of all of us, and we will all keep persevering together.

So, finally,

How has the coronavirus crisis impacted your business? Please post in the comments below and let’s share our stories.

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