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JobKeeper payment provides lifeline to COVID-19 affected businesses

An historic wage subsidy program will help keep Australians in jobs as the nation continues to grapple with significant economic fallout as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

It is expected that six million workers will benefit from the $130 billion JobKeeper package, which will see them receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the JobKeeper payment would ensure eligible employers and employees stay connected while some businesses move into hibernation.

“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,” the Prime Minister said.

“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 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.”

So, how does the JobKeeper payment work?

For a period of up to six months, employers will be able to receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.

When a business has stood down employees since 1 March, the payment will help them maintain connection with their employees.

Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from the business, before tax.

First payments for the program, which commenced on 30 March 2020, are to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Tax Office.

Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May.

Are you eligible?

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.

Businesses with annual turnover of $1 billion or more would be required to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of 50 per cent or more to be eligible.

Full time and part time employees, and casual employees who have been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months, are all eligible to receive the payment.

Learn more on the Treasury website.

As at 8am today (31 March), more than 113,000 Australian businesses have registered their interest in the new JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Register your interest online now at: www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/

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