The $1500 JobKeeper payments explained

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Yesterday, ScoMo and the Aussie government announced the JobKeeper payment scheme. It’s a $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy for employers who’ve been significantly affected by the coronavirus, including sole traders!

Here’s a break down of everything tradies need to know:

Which businesses are eligible?

Any business who earns under $1 billion will be eligible to claim the wage subsidy if they’ve had a 30% drop in turnover.

They’ll need to prove this decrease in turnover by showing current turnover to a comparable period (at least a month) last year.

All business types are eligible for payments, including sole traders.

Even sole traders?!

Yep! Sole traders, including those who are self-employed, will be eligible as long as they meet that criteria.

What if I’m employed by someone else?

To be eligible, the employee must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or hold one of the visas listed here.
  • Employed full-time or part-time, or
  • Employed casually on a regular basis for at least 12 months (as at 1 March 2020).

As far as we can tell, this does not cover apprentices – however, the government do have a separate subsidy on offer which covers 50% of their wage. Read more about it here.

How do I get the payments?

Business owners need to register for updates through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who’ll be delivering the payments from May.

Looks like they’ll then get in touch with everyone who’s registered with next steps.

How long will the payments go for?

Six months, at this stage. The payments will begin to be made from 1 May 2020, but can be backdated to 30 March!

It looks like you’ll need to continue to make monthly reports to the ATO on your turnover to keep getting the payments.

So employees will each take home $1,500 per fortnight?

The payment is a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight. It’s completely up to the employer if they want to top up any additional payments to each employee on top of that.

It’s also important to note the $1,500 subsidy is pre-tax.

I’ve already been stood down by my boss. Am I still eligible?

Yes, but it’s up to your boss to apply in order to make the payments to you. If they haven’t already spoken to you, get in touch with them or share this article.

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