You may have heard that the Government have made two new announcements in recent days. This newsletter looks at how these announcements will impact employees and individuals who have been impacted by the economic downturn because of the Coronavirus.
The Federal Government have increased the threshold for the amount your partner can earn before it affects any JobSeeker payments. As of 30th March 2020, your partners income threshold increases to $79,762 a year before it affects your JobSeeker payments. This is great news.
The previous partner income limit was $48,000 which excluded many people from receiving Government help. This news will help many families.
The Government have released a further Economic Support Initiative called the “JobKeeker Payment” with the main goal to keep employees on the books and engaged with their employers. This is an exciting development for both employers and employees alike, so we have attempted to collate the information here for you in one place.
The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy program introduced to support businesses significantly affected by COVID-19. The payment is designed to help businesses cover the costs of their employees’ wages so that more employees can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income.
The payment is paid directly to employers and passed on to employees.
If you are still employed this payment will assist your employer in the ability to keep paying you and keeping you in your position
If your employer is eligible, they may be able to apply for a JobKeeper payment for you for the next 6 months. This means they can re-start your employment, keep you on the books and pay you a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight before tax
If your employer is eligible, they may be able to apply for a JobKeeker payment for you and effectively re-hire you for the next 6 months paying you a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
As an employee you will be considered eligible if:
If your employer is eligible and intends to apply for a JobKeeper payment for you, they must notify you. Please note you can only receive the JobKeeper payment from one employer. But you may be able to continue to earn a wage from a secondary job as well.
For most people, the maximum “JobSeeker” Payment with the Coronavirus supplement and energy supplement is $1,124.80 per fortnight.
If you are paid the “JobKeeper” payment from your employer, the $1,500 per fortnight will be taxed and if this is your only employment income, your after tax position will be approximately $1,340 per fortnight.
In most cases, the JobKeeper payment will provide you with approximately $215 more take home income per fortnight. The JobKeeper payment also provides other benefits including:-
You may have already applied to Centrelink for JobSeeker payments and the Coronavirus Supplement. If so, you will need to notify Centrelink as soon as you begin to receive JobKeeper payments as you may no longer be eligible for the income support through Centrelink.
There is no current legislation stating that an employer must take part in the JobKeeper initiative. It is up to the employer to decide if they want to participate. Some employers will not participate due to many reasons including lack of cashflow, lack of physical work that can be done by the employee, illness of the business owner or the fact that the employer is reimbursed up to 1 month after wage payments are made.
We hope that the information provided here will assist you in understanding the new JobKeeper initiative and JobSeeker changes. We welcome this initiative as it will help keep the employer and employee relationship during this downturn and will also allow for businesses to resume operations quickly when the businesses are in a position to re-open.
As always, please contact us if you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the above matters further. Our full team are working remotely from home at the moment and have been conducting virtual meetings all week. Our phone system is set-up so our mobile phones have replaced our office desk phones so it is business as usual for Suntax. If you need to contact us, just call our normal phone number (03 8746-7700) and we will do everything we can to help you through this unusual time.