This article discusses the eligibility criteria for employees receiving the JobKeeper payment and explain the components of the JobKeeper Eligibility Report. This report is designed to provide employers with the information to make an informed decision on which employees fit the basic eligibility criteria provided by the government. The results displayed in this report should not be the sole tool used to determine employee eligibility. Rather, we strongly suggest all employees be manually verified prior to commencing paying JobKeeper subsidies.
Additionally, this report makes no assumptions as to whether a business is eligible for JobKeeper subsidies. It is the employer's responsibility to determine eligibility. For more information about the subsidy and business eligibility, refer here.
Refer here for details on how to set up the JobKeeper payment in your payroll system so that it is being reported correctly to the ATO via STP.
Which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper payment?
As a minimum, an employee must have been employed by the employer on 1 July 2020 (including if the employee was stood down or rehired)and continues to be employed by that employer, in order to be eligible for the payment. This means any new employees employed after 1 July 2020 are not eligible for the payment. The initial reference date was 1 March 2020, however this changed on 7 August 2020 and took effect from 3 August 2020. Additionally, eligible employees are employees who:
- are a full time, part time or fixed term employee at 1 July 2020; or
- a long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer;
- are aged 18 years or older at 1 July 2020 (16 or 17 year olds can also qualify if they are independent or not undertaking full time study);
- are either an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991) or an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 July 2020;
- are not in receipt of government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 (Employees on parental leave from their employer are eligible);
- are not in receipt of any payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual's total incapacity for work (Employees receiving workers compensation will be eligible for the JobKeeper if they are working, for example on reduced hours, but will generally not be eligible if they are not working);
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
The ATO provide detailed information on assessing employee eligibility - this can be accessed here.
JobKeeper Eligibility Report
The JobKeeper Eligibility Report easily allows employers to determine the eligibility status of their employees. You can access this report by navigating to Reports > JobKeeper Eligibility Report (under the "Employees" list).
If you record employee visas using the Qualifications feature, you can add the qualifications to the report parameters. The report output will then identify which employees have any of the qualifications and classify them accordingly.
The eligibility status will either be:
- Eligible, ie based on all relevant employee data, the employee meets the eligibility test;
- Ineligible, ie based on all relevant employee data, the employee does not meets the eligibility test; or
- May be eligible, ie certain assumptions have been made based on relevant employee data, so best to double check with the employee so a definite decision can be made.
If an employee is deemed either 'Ineligible' or 'May be eligible', the report will detail the reasons for such decision:
The assumptions we make when determining an employee as 'May be eligible' are as follows:
- Where an employee is not claiming the tax free threshold that means this job is not their primary source of income. An employee is not eligible for the JobKeeper payment if they are already in receipt of such payment from another employer. It is best to check with the employee whether they are already receiving the JobKeeper payment from another employer.
- Employees that do not have the 'Australian Resident for tax purposes' checkbox ticked on their tax file declaration may not be eligible because they are not an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder. It is best to check with the employee however on their visa status.
- Employees with a visa qualification may not be eligible if they do not possess the type of visa that falls within the eligibility criteria.
Employees configured with an employment type of 'Labour Hire' or 'Superannuation Income Stream' are considered ineligible.
4 week average hours
The Government has proposed to extend the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021.
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rates will be stepped-down and two tiers of payment will be introduced, as follows:
- $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020; and
- $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
- $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020; and
- $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees.
The period with the higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.
To easily determine what tier eligible employees will be classified under, we have introduced 2 new columns in the report – “Average Hours 4 weeks to 1/3/2020” and “Average Hours 4 weeks to 1/7/2020”. Click on the tooltip icon to view a calculation breakdown of how the average hours have been determined.
Using the example above, the figures displayed in these columns are calculated as follows:
- Pay Period: Look at all finalised pay runs with a pay period that spans the reference period dates. The March reference period covers the dates 2/02/2020 - 29/02/2020. The July reference period covers the dates 3/06/2020 - 30/06/2020. All pay runs fitting this criteria will be used to determine the averaged hours, regardless of the pay schedule used to process the pay run.
- Days in Pay Period: This is the number of calendar days covered in the pay run.
- Hours worked: This is the number of hours processed in the pay run.
- Days in Reporting Period: This is the number of calendar days covered in the reference period.
- % Days: Days in Reporting Period divided by Days in Pay Period.
- Applicable Hours: Hours worked x % Days.
- Total Hours: The sum of all Applicable Hours.
- Average hours per week: Total Hours divided by 4 (weeks).
Any hours that are 20 or more are coloured in green to clearly differentiate between those less than 20 (that are coloured in red).
N.B. The JobKeeper Eligibility Report does not include incomplete or terminated employees. If you have reinstated an employee, you must ensure they are reactivated in the system so that they appear in the report.
Should you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.