JobKeeper – $1500 per Fortnight for Employees (and others) During COVID-19

Letter to employees below (please let us know if you would like us to email your employees this letter)

Yesterday afternoon the Government announced Economic Stimulus package no 3 which included wage support for businesses and their employees impacted by a downturn in business or forced to close due to COVID-19.
 
If your business has suffered a 30% decline in business as a result of the COVID-19 then this applies to you. 
 
The Package is not yet LAW!  It is likely to become law but nothing is certain about the detail or the way this will work until the law is passed.
 
The formula to calculate the 30% decline in business is not known yet.  We understand that it will be a declaration by you based on evidence.  It appears that any of; a year to year comparison, quarter to quarter or month to month evidence will be accepted if required.
 
The proposal provides $1500 per fortnight from the government (paid by the ATO) per impacted employee. 
This includes:those stood down, terminated or decreased hours. Full time or part timeCasuals who have been with you for more than 12 months are included 
It you are sole trader this will apply to you, meaning as you are in business for yourself and your business has declined then the government will support you through JobKeeper and not require you to contact centrelink  More detail to follow.
 
The proposed package means:Money will not be received until 1st May.There will be an amount of backpay for the fortnights between 30th March and 1st MayThen it will continue to pay up to $1500 per fortnight per employee ongoing for up to 6 months 
If an employee would normally earn less than $1500 then they will now be paid $1500 during this time, paid to you by the government for you to pass on.  If they earnt more than $1500 this provides $1500 for you to pass on, through payroll.  Any amount above $1500 is determined by you. The amount paid is taxable but does not incur Superannuation Guarantee.  $1500 per fortnight that is taxed (normally at $162) therefore a net $1,338. 
We do not yet know the impact of this program on annual leave accrual etc nor the impact on those employees you have already terminated.  We understand that Government is looking at considering it simply as a re-employment of those that you previously terminated.
 
Please contact us to confirm that you believe you are eligible.
The only step available right now is to register the business with the ATO. (link sent in previous emails)
Either yourself, us or your Accountant could do this.  However we should ensure only one of us does this so we don’t overlap.
 
We will contact you when the proposal becomes law and we know officially what is happening.
 
The program means you will receive money from the Government and pay it to the impacted employees through payroll, as if their employment was continuing as per normal.
 
This means that employees may not need to continue with their Centrelink JobSeeker application.  The new program is JobKeeper (with a K) and is through the ATO.
Even though the employee has been stood down or terminated, this new program in effect replaces that.
 
The intention of government is to provide this to employers to permit you to evaluate the ability for to keep the business running in some form or as part of your plans to re-open the doors.
 
We will provide more detail as it becomes known.
 
We have already registered our business with the ATO to begin this program as soon as it is available.

Below is a letter you can use to send to employees.  If you wish us to send this letter out please let us know asap.

Dear employee
 
JobKeeper – $1500 per fortnight during COVID-19
 
Yesterday afternoon the Government announced Economic Stimulus package no 3 which included wage support for businesses and their employees impacted by a downturn in business or forced to close due to COVID-19.
 
We believe this applies to us and therefore you.
 
The Package is not yet LAW!  It is likely to become law but nothing is certain about the detail or the way this will work until the law is passed.
 
The proposed package means:The money will not be received until 1st MayYou should be eligible for the $1500 per fortnight starting from 1st MayThere will be an amount of backpay for the fortnights between 30th March and 1st MayWe will then continue to pay you $1500 per fortnight and then ongoing for up to 6 monthsWe are investigating whether we can pay you amounts earlier than 1st May. 
We will contact you when the proposal becomes law and we know officially what is happening.
 
The new program is JobKeeper (with a K).  This is proposed to replace your involvement in the JobSeeker program with Centrelink.  We will provide further information as it becomes available.
 
Government’s intention is to support businesses to retain their employees.  We will contact you as we evaluate the ability for these Stimulus funds to enable us to keep the business running in some form or as part of our plans to re-open the doors.
 
The $1500 per fortnight, taxed (normally at $162) therefore a net $1,338 will be proceed through our normal payroll system.
There is no Superannuation paid in addition to this amount of pay.
The amount will be included in your end of year Income Statements and will be part of your taxable income in your Tax Return.
 
We will provide more detail as it becomes known.
 
We have already registered our business with the ATO to begin this program as soon as it is available.
 
Yours faithfully