As April draws to an end, the first wage subsidy payments under the ATO’s JobKeeper program will soon be paid to thousands of businesses across the country.
The Government and the ATO have belatedly acknowledged the difficulty their timeframes imposed on businesses, not only to determine their and their employees’ eligibility for the program and enrol accordingly, but also to secure the funds with which to pay their employees before receiving reimbursement. Accordingly, payments to employees for the first two JobKeeper Fortnights, ending April 12 and April 26, no longer have to be made by April 30. Payments for these fortnights can now be made by Friday, May 8 by employers, without endangering their reimbursement eligibility. Enrolment into the program for reimbursement for these two periods has also been extended until the end of May.
We would advise that employers on the Single Touch Payroll system still process their pay runs for this period as they would normally. This advice holds true even if they intend to delay physical payment to their employees to the new deadline. This will assist with the lodgement of the reimbursement application, which opens this coming Monday, May 4.
The Federal Treasurer has also advised that the program’s rules will be changed to provide clarity around eligibility criteria concerning:
- Employees employed through a special purpose entity, such as a ‘service entity’ rather than an operating entity;
- Charities and the treatment of government revenue;
- Religious practitioners;
- ‘One in all in’ principles;
- Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old;
- International aid organisations; and
The Treasurer’s press release can be found here.
We will advise accordingly once the rule changes have been finalised. We also wish to highlight that changes to eligibility of full-time students will be prospective rather than retrospective. This means that employers who have already made payments to employees who are no longer eligible under this rule change may still be entitled to a JobKeeper subsidy payment.
As always, should you wish to discuss the JobKeeper Payment program, require assistance determining your business’ or employees’ eligibility, or enrolling and applying for the program, please contact your Morrows Business Advisor.