ScoMo announces $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy

The Federal Government will provide a historic wage subsidy to around 6 million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the $130 billion JobKeeper payment will help keep Australians in jobs and tackle the significant economic impact of the coronavirus.

The payment will be open to eligible businesses that have received a significant financial hit from the coronavirus. It will provide the equivalent of around 70 per cent of the national median wage.

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.

Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other).

For workers in the accommodation, hospitality, and retail sectors, Morrison says it will equate to a full median replacement wage. The payment can ensure eligible employers and employees stay connected while some businesses move into hibernation.

The JobKeeper payment wwill bring the government’s total economic support for the economy to $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

“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,” Morrison says.

“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.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the country is going through one of the toughest economic times in its history.

“Businesses will close and people will lose their jobs. That is why we have doubled the welfare safety net,” Frydenberg says.

“However, today we are going even further. Australians know that their government has their back.

“This will keep Australian workers connected with their employer and provide hope and more certainty during these difficult and challenging times.”

The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.

Where a business has stood down employees since 1 March, 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 on 30 March, 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.

The Government will provide updates on further business cashflow support in coming days.

To apply for the payment online, businesses can register their interest at ato.gov.au

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