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COVID-19 JobKeeper Passes Parliament

Start With The End In Mind

Update 8th APRIL 2020


The JobKeeper legislation was passed in Federal Parliament today we are suggesting that businesses who are thinking they should rush their JobKeeper application to be cautious and be prepared with the relevant information beforehand.

Once Royal Assent is given, the ATO will publish extensive guidance on many aspects of JobKeeper, such as the eligibility criteria, how to apply, how it is paid (instalments or as a lump sum), the payment timetable and applicable conditions.

The Federal Government have vested extensive powers in the ATO and the legislation has claw-back rules empowering the ATO to recover overpaid amounts and target those who weren’t entitled to payments received, plus interest.

The legislation requires the usual record keeping by applicants for 5 years and outlines ongoing record-keeping obligations after the JobKeeper payment has been received. Documentary evidence of the downturn in business turnover will be essential to prove your case.

Cashflow planning is also essential as JobKeeper payments will be paid at least a month in arrears from when you have paid the employee wages.

Get good advice as there will be scammers with shonky schemes trying to exploit JobKeeper. The legislation empowers the ATO to check any artificial change in the financial position of any business designed to unlawfully pocket JobKeeper cash and the ATO has extensive clawback powers.

The ATO already have a dob-in hotline which will be busy where employers do the wrong thing or any employees have doubts their entitlements are not correct. Employees will have a lot of questions on how much they get and when they get it, employees who have already been stood down will be asking if they will be re-hired and on what terms.

Employers should develop an employment plan to answer all these questions and you will need to develop a working understanding of the temporary changes which this new legislation makes to the Fair Work Act.

MyAccountants will provide all the working details of the JobKeeper program as soon as the ATO release their guidance notes in the near future. Stay tuned for more bulletins