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JobKeeper

JOBKEEPER SCHEME


Nominating Employees for Payments

For those of you who have registered your interest for JobKeeper you may have received a text message in the last 24 hours directing you towards the ATO JobKeeper Information. The ATO has now released Nomination forms (attached to this email) for employers to distribute to their employees so they can nominate themselves for the JobKeeper payments. This is a critical part of the process in order to secure payments. You can also click here for more information from the ATO on stepping you through How to Enrol and Apply for the JobKeeper Payment and what you need to do from 20th April 2020.

If you have eligible employees, we recommend sending the nomination form out asap. To register and submit employee information you will need access to the Business Portal LINK and myGovID. You will need to show that you have paid employees at least $1500 per fortnight (before tax) since 30 March in order to be eligible for the payments.

Eligibility for Businesses

Under the JobKeeper Scheme, businesses and not-for-profits significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a $1500 per fortnight wage subsidy (JobKeeper Payment) to continue paying their employees for up to six months from 30 March 2020. Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $1 billion are eligible if they estimate their annual turnover is or will be reduced by 30% or more. Businesses with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more are eligible if they estimate their annual turnover is or will be reduced by 50% or more.

Eligibility for Employees

An eligible employee under the JobKeeper Scheme is an employee who, on 1 March 2020, was:

  • currently employed (including those stood down or re-hired);

  • full-time, part-time or long-term casual employees (i.e. employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months); and

  • not receiving a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

What Additional Flexibilities Are Available To Employers?

Eligible employers under the JobKeeper scheme will be able to:

o stand down employees from their employment (Stand Down Direction), which is to direct an employee to not work or to reduce their hours of work, where the employee cannot be usefully employed for COVID19 related reasons,

o direct an employee to perform duties other than their usual duties,

o direct an employee to work at a place different from their usual workplace if it is reasonable,

o make an agreement with an employee about the days or times they perform work, and

o make an agreement with an employee about taking annual leave, including at half pay.

These flexibilities supplement existing rights under the Fair Work Act, Awards and enterprise agreements. They will only apply until 28 September 2020.

LIMITS ON USING THESE FLEXIBILITIES

An employer can only use these flexibilities if:

  • the employee cannot be usefully employed for their normal days or hours during the period because of changes to business attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic or government initiatives to slow COVID-19 transmission; and

  • the employer gives prior notice (generally three days) and consult with employees and their unions.

Employees will have a range of other protected rights, which will give them access to general protections and a range of other claims if these provisions are used unlawfully/incorrectly.

ANNUAL LEAVE AT HALF PAY

As noted in last weeks’ email, on 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations varying 99 Awards. The amendments to the Awards included an allowance for employees to take their annual leave at half pay.


Under the new schedule, employees can take their annual leave at half pay, and double their time off work, if their employer agrees. This means an employee gets 1 weeks' annual leave payment (including annual leave loading if applicable) for every 2 weeks of annual leave they take.


The agreement must be in writing and the employer needs to keep it as a record.

The leave needs to start before 30 June 2020 but can finish after that date.

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