JobKeeper Payment Scheme – Enrollment and Payment Extensions Explained
- Employers who wish to enroll for the first two JobKeeper fortnights, have an extension to 31 May (from the original deadline of 30 April).
- Employers also have extended time in which to pay employees for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 – which has been extended to 8 May 2020.
- Important to note, JobKeeper fortnight 3 (which ends on 8th May) needs to be paid to employees by 10 May.
The ATO has now announced an extension of time for employers who wish to enrol for the first two JobKeeper fortnights to 31 May, an extension from 30 April.
The ATO has also just announced that it has extended the time in which employers need to pay employees for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 until 8 May 2020.
One of the key requirements of the JobKeeper Scheme is that employers must first pay their employees before they can apply to receive JobKeeper Payments. Originally, a concession was available that allowed employers to make the payments for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 by 26 April 2020 (being the end of fortnight 2). The ATO then extended this to 30 April 2020.
However, under this new announcement, a further extension has been granted until 8 May 2020 providing employers with additional time to ensure they have paid each eligible employee $3,000 for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2.
As a warning, employers must be aware that, despite the fact they can now pay their employees as late as 8 May 2020 and still be eligible for JobKeeper Payments for fortnights 1 and 2, they are still required to pay their employees a further $1,500 by 10 May 2020 in relation JobKeeper fortnight 3 (which ends on the same date). At the current time, no extension to this date has been announced, and it would be unwise for employers to anticipate that there will be one.
“This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight by 8 May, or a combined payment of at least $3,000,” said the ATO in an update on Monday.
The extension in time to meet the wage condition comes after the ATO registered the alternative tests late last week and the Treasurer revealing that further changes would be made to the JobKeeper rules.
This extension allows businesses further time to consider their circumstances and remove any cash-flow pressures arising from financing arrangements that haven’t been finalised, where they are seeking assistance from the banks.
Businesses now have until 31 May 2020 to formally enroll to claim JobKeeper payments. However, the sooner the April staff payments are finalised and, the employer enrolls in JobKeeper, the sooner the ATO can reimburse the employer via the JobKeeper wages subsidy.
If you have any questions or need advice and clarity specific to your situation, feel free to contact Semmens & Co on 03 8320 0320 for a free consultation.