Good News: The Govt Has Put A Wage Subsidy In Place So Businesses Can Keep Paying You Over The Next Few Months
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, the PM announced a $1500 per fortnight wage subsidy package to help businesses keep employees in their jobs.
The $1500 amount was decided because the govt felt it represented about 70% of the median wage in Australia.
The subsidy, called JobKeeper (not to be confused with the previously announced JobSeeker payment), is part of a $130 billion economic stimulus package, the largest plan the govt has announced, to help people keep their heads above water through the COVID-19 crisis. ScoMo said he expected 6 million Aussies would access the payment for the next six months.
Confused? Here’s what you need to know:
Can I get the $1500 JobKeeper payment?
If you’re a full-time worker, part-time employee, sole trader (so, a freelancer, or someone running a business on their own) or a casual who’s been at the company for more than a year and were employed on March 1, you’re eligible. Oh, and you have to be over the age of 16 and an Aussie citizen or permanent resident too.
What do I need to do to get the payment?
If you tick all the boxes above, and the business you work for is eligible (cause there are some rules around which businesses can receive this), you won’t need to do anything.
The employer will deal directly with the govt to get the subsidy, which they’ll then pass onto you and put into your regular pay.
Your employer is likely to tell you in the coming days whether or not the business qualifies to receive the funds. They’ll need to prove that sales have dropped by specific amounts due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and that they need financial support in order to keep their staff in jobs. More on that stuff here.
So when will I start to get the cash?
While the program began yesterday, the cash won’t start to flow until May 1, according to reports by the ABC. Fortunately, though, the payments will be back-dated, meaning the ATO will reimburse companies from the end of March and all of April, so, if you’re eligible, you’ll get a lump sum for that period.
What happens if you earn less than $1500 a fortnight?
Good news for you: you’ll actually get a boost in income. You’ll now be earning $1500, before tax.
What happens if I earn more than $1500 a fortnight?
The employer will get the subsidy, but nothing else will change for you.
What if I was stood down or have already lost my job?
Good news! You’re still eligible.
All that has to happen is that your company has to sign up for the program and put you back on the books. If your company doesn’t sign up or isn’t eligible, you’ll need to apply for a Centrelink payment.
What if I’m Kiwi – am I eligible?
Yep, Kiwis on the 444 visa will be included.
As of this morning, Australia has recorded 4,360 cases of coronavirus and 18 deaths. Please stay safe and at home everyone.
More details on this govt initiative can be found on the JobKeeper Payment factsheet right here.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
This article was written by Sangeeta Kocharekar.
Main Image Credit: Under licence from Getty
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