Recent changes to the JobKeeper Payment Scheme
The Federal Government’ JobKeeper Payment Scheme, which was announced in March 2020, is one of the most significant business stimulus packages offered by the Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme aims to keep Australians employed, in their pre-pandemic role with their employer.
Businesses seeking to rely on the JobKeeper stimulus package were to originally express their intention to access the scheme before the end of April 2020. This deadline has since been extended by the Federal Government. Enrolment for the initial two JobKeeper payments have been differed from 30 April 2020 to 31 May 2020.
To be eligible to claim the JobKeeper payments for the initial two fortnights (being 30 March to 12 April, and 13 April to 26 April), employers must have paid their nominated staff a minimum wage of $1,500 for each fortnight by 8 May 2020 during that period.
Other recent changes to the scheme include:
Jobkeeper Payment Scheme Table
The amendments follow a number of stimulus measures being introduced by the Federal Government to address growing economic concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent media release, the Federal Treasury revealed that since registration opened more than 900,000 businesses expressed interest in the scheme and over 400,000 businesses had successfully enrolled in the scheme. It is clear from these statistics that the demand for assistance is very high.
In addition to the JobKeeper Payment Scheme, the Federal Government has also introduced and endorsed various other programs to support Australian businesses, including:
• the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which guarantees 50% of the value of eligible unsecured business loans to small and medium enterprises impacted by COVID-19;
• early superannuation access for eligible sole traders whose businesses were suspended or who have suffered at least a 20% decrease in their turnover; and
• electricity and gas tariff relief for eligible small businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19 across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
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We are committed to keeping you up to date with the ever-evolving laws in Australia, especially during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should you require guidance or advice on the business stimulus packages available during the coronavirus pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact our team of qualified legal advisers today.
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Also Read: The Job Keeper Allowance article