Wage subsidy a $130b lifeline for Australian Jobs
The $130 billion JobKeeper payment is expected to keep about six million Australians employed to help tackle the significant economic impact from the coronavirus.
The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobKeeper payment would bring the Government’s total economic support for the economy to $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP.
“We will give millions of eligible businesses and their workers a lifeline to not only get through this crisis, but bounce back together on the other side,” he said.
“This is about keeping the connection between the employer and the employee and keeping people in their jobs even though the business they work for may go into hibernation and close down for six months.
“When the economy comes back, these businesses will be able to start again and their workforce will be ready to go because they will remain attached to the business through our JobKeeper payment.”
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer James Pearson described the scheme as “a game changer when Australia needs it most”.
“We would now urge every employer who has had to lay someone off due to the economic impact of the coronavirus, to look hard at their numbers, rethink, and rehire wherever possible,” he said.
“Through collaborative efforts with the ACTU and Ai Group, we have also been able to urgently deliver changes to the award system; this means together with today’s announcement, small business employers and employees are starting to have more options to stay in business and retain jobs.”
How the payment will work
The JobKeeper Payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on March 1 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.
Where a business has stood down employees since March 1, the payment will help them maintain connection with their employees.
Employers will receive a payment of $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Every eligible employee must receive at least $1500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.
The program will commence today, March 30, with the first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office.
Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May.
Eligible employers will be those with annual turnover of less than $1 billion who self-assess that have a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period.
Employers with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more would be required to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of 50 per cent or more to be eligible. Businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy will not be eligible.
Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment. An employee will only be eligible to receive this payment from one employer.
Self-employed individuals are also eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au
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