The Government has passed additional legislation to provide wage subsidies to businesses significantly affected by COVID-19. This subsidy is called the JobKeeper payment and is intended to be paid directly to employers by the Australian Taxation Office, who then provide the payment to their employees.
This article will discuss 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 March 2020 and continues to be employed by that employer, in order to be eligible for the payment. This means any new employees employed after 1 March 2020 are not eligible for the payment. Additionally, eligible employees are employees who:
- were stood down before the commencement of this subsidy;
- are re-engaged by a business that was their employer on 1 March 2020;
- are at least 16 years of age as at 1 March 2020;
- are either full time and part time;
- are long-term casuals, ie casuals employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020;
- are an Australian tax resident who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder as at 1 March 2020;
- are an Australian resident as at 1 March 2020 within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991, which requires that they reside in Australia, and are one of an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa Holder;
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
Employees receiving Parental Leave Pay from Services Australia are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. However, employees on parental leave from their employer will be eligible. Employees receiving workers compensation will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment if they are working, for example on reduced hours, but will generally not be eligible if they are not working.
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.
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.
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