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  • Writer's pictureTyson Jonas

Explaining The Job Keeper Payment

Our lives continue to change as a result of the Corona virus and the mandatory self isolation restrictions that are the now in place. From the rise of video chat, working from home and toilet paper scarcity there have already been some significant changes to the way we go about our business.

Speaking of business, the economic impacts of the Coronavirus pose significant challenges for many businesses – many of which are struggling to retain their employees and keep the lights on.

Under the newly announced JobKeeper Payment, businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over.

For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut. The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus.

In addition to wage earners, the self employed are also eligible to benefit from the Job Keeper payment.

The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months. The JobKeeper Payment will support employers to maintain their connection to their employees.

These connections will enable business to reactivate their operations quickly – without having to rehire staff – when the crisis is over.

Eligibility Employers (including non-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

• their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or

• their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and

• the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Employers must elect to participate in the scheme. They will need to make an application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and provide supporting information demonstrating a downturn in their business. In addition, employers must report the number of eligible employees employed by the business on a monthly basis.

Payment process Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.

Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment

Where employers participate in the scheme, their employees will receive this payment as follows:

• If an employee ordinarily receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements.

The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee(s).

• If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

• If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

• If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and then has been re-engaged by the same eligible employer, the employee will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment. Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO.


The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses will be able to register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website.

While this will be a welcome relief to businesses and workers across the country there are many at the moment who are suffering including many tenants.

New Rental Grant for households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is only available to Queenslanders who need it the most and have exhausted all other options.

The COVID-19 Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance. The grant is paid directly to your lessor.

Eligibility Applicants must meet the following criteria: 1.You live in Queensland 2. You have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Residential Tenancies Authority 3. You are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have a temporary or permanent protection visa or possess a bridging visa 4. You do not have more than $10,000 in cash and savings 5. You can provide evidence of attempts to negotiate a payment plan with your lessor 6. You have lost your job and have applied to Centrelink for income support 7. You are waiting for your application with Centrelink to be approved.

Apply for a COVID-19 Rental Grant online. I hope this helps but until I wrote next please remember to take isolation seriously, this is the one time that sitting on the couch, eating snacks and watching television is capable of saving lives!

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