Ensure your client correctly pays their eligible employees

Last modified 19 April 2020 Ac 62139

The design of the JobKeeper scheme is that all eligible employees are paid the minimum of $1500 per fortnight and that the employer claims for each of these employees. Employers are not meant to pick and choose between their eligible employees.

Your client should pay their eligible employees in line with their existing pay amounts and pay cycle and meet these requirements:

  • They should pay the minimum $1,500 (before tax) to each eligible employee each fortnight (starting with the fortnight 30 March – 12 April) to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight.
  • They need to continue to pay employees they are claiming for either  
    • every subsequent fortnight until 27 September 2020
    • until their employees stop being eligible or your client opts out.
  • For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April       and 13 April – 26 April), we will accept the minimum $1,500 payment (before tax) has been paid for each fortnight even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by the end of April. This means that they can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before the end of April, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before the end of April.
  • If your client's eligible employees earn less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight, your client must pay them $1,500 per for each fortnight to claim the JobKeeper payment. This ‘top up’ of their salary or wages will ensure they remain eligible.
  • Employers cannot pay their employees less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight and keep the difference.
  • Your client will not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if they pay their nominated employee less than $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight.
  • If their eligible employees earn more than $1,500 per fortnight, they will only receive $1,500 for each eligible employee and they should pay any additional balance themselves.
  • If an employee has been stood down after 1 March, and your client re-engages them, they must pay their eligible employee at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight. They will only be eligible to claim for the fortnights after they have re-engaged their employee within the pay period.
  • If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and has since been re-engaged by them, the employee must receive, at a minimum, $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight.
  • Your client cannot claim the reimbursement for the JobKeeper payment for employees who were not paid the full amount during each JobKeeper payment period.
  • If your client's ordinary arrangement is to pay its employees less frequently than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if an employer’s ordinary arrangement is to pay an employee every four weeks, it will be reasonable if the employee is paid at least $3,000 for every four-week period.
  • The JobKeeper payment is a reimbursement from the ATO to your client and cannot be paid in advance.

All JobKeeper payments are assessable income of the business that is eligible to receive the payments. The normal rules for deductibility apply in respect of the amounts a business pays to its employees where those amounts are subsidised by the JobKeeper payment.

The JobKeeper payment is not subject to GST.

New rules are being introduced by the government with the intention to not require super guarantee to be paid on additional payments that are made to employees as a result of JobKeeper payments. We will update this information once legislation is in place.