While the whole world is grappling with the corona pandemic, its effect on the economies is now visible. Governments all over are trying to work out policies that may minimize the impact to some level. The challenges that the coronavirus has posed to different businesses are enormous – retaining the employees and paying their wages is getting increasingly difficult.
To make the Australians in work and sustain their daily needs, the Morrison Government has rolled out a $130bn support package. By all standards, this is the most big-hearted wage subsidy support in the world. Spread over six months, it will help the Australians in several ways during these trying times. The PM termed it as a ‘hibernation period.’
How much will you receive?
The Government will pay $1500 for all the eligible employees. It will be paid every fortnight for the eligible workers. This amount of 1500$ is arrived based on the national median wage.
This financial scheme from the Federal Government is to support people in their jobs and re-start when the corona crisis is over.
Called the JobKeeper Payment, it is a scheme that is temporary, and the employees will earn an income, and keep their jobs as well. The benefits of the scheme are also available to the self-employed.
Eligibility Criteria for the Scheme
Both the employee and the employer must meet the specified eligibility criteria. Charities, not-for-profits organizations, sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts are the categories included in the eligible employers’ list.
- Businesses with a turnover of equal to or more than $1bn and having at least a 50% fall in revenue when compared to the previous year.
- Businesses with a turnover of $1bn and having a loss of 30% or more in terms of revenue when compared to a year ago.
- Employment with the eligible employer on 1 March 2020.
- Should be employed for more than 12 months as on 1 March 2020 as a part-time, full time or a casual employee or sole traders.
- Minimum of 16 years of age.
- Should be an Australian citizen or a New Zealander on a special category visa.
- Individuals with a permanent visa, special category visa, non-protected special category visa, and residing in Australia for 10 years or more are also eligible.
This support scheme from the Federal Government will benefit nearly six million workers in Australia.
All the eligible employees with the eligible employers will receive it starting from 30 March 2020. The employers will receive the amount, and $1500 will be paid to the employees every fortnight by their employers. The employers are given the option to top up the payment. The employers will continue to pay their employees as usual and will receive the payments by May first week.
Employers will pay their employees under the ordinary course. The payments will be made to the employers in arrears by the Australian Tax Office. The business needs to register their interest in the same. Nearly 8000 business entities have already registered.
FAQs regarding the Jobkeeper Payment
1. Due to COVID-19, my employer stood me down or sacked me almost two weeks ago? Am I entitled to the Jobseeker payment?
You are eligible for the payment. There were thousands of workers, especially in the retail and hospitality sector that were stood down or sacked because of social distancing. All such employees are entitled to this payment if they were employed as of 1 March 2020.
2. Am I eligible if my company re-hired me and made me a part-time worker? I wasn’t exactly stood down
Yes, you will be eligible for the Jobseekers payment. This support scheme includes workers who were re-hired as part-time workers due to the COVID-19’s impact on business.
3. Will I be eligible for the payment, as I am not an Australian citizen? I worked in a café but was sacked or stood down due to COVID-19.
You need to check your visa category to find your eligibility status. For the ones on a protected special category visa or a permanent visa, they are considered as eligible.
Moreover, if you are with a non-protected special category visa and residing in Australia for 10 years or more, you will be eligible too.
The ones having a special category (subclass 444) visa are also eligible.
You can check your visa status here https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au.
4. Will a casual employee over summer, who has lost his job, also eligible for Jobkeeper payment?
Only long term employees are eligible for these payments. You could qualify if you were employed for more than 12 months as of 1 March 2020.
5. Will I get only my regular wage if my earning was less than $1500 before the corona crisis?
The encouraging news is that you will be eligible for $1500 every fortnight regardless of the money that you were making earlier. The scheme provides you a minimum payment, and your employer may pay you on top of that.
6. I was working with multiple businesses; will I be eligible for multiple payments?
Every Australian is eligible for a single JobKeeper payment. Inform your primary employer of your intent to claim the payment.
7. Is a self-employed trader eligible for the payment?
If you meet the criteria for the Jobkeeper payment, then you are eligible. For the criteria refer to the detailed information above.
8. Will, the self-employed, receive the payment automatically?
As self-employed individuals, you need to get the registration done with the Tax Office’s website. You will nominate an individual to receive the payment and also need to provide an ABN.