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  • Employees' frequently asked JobKeeper questions

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    Enrolling for JobKeeper

    Question: How do I enrol in the JobKeeper scheme?

    Answer: If your employer is eligible and chooses to participate in the JobKeeper scheme they will ask you to fill in an Employee nomination notice, which you need to sign and return so they claim the JobKeeper payment for you.

    Refer to information for Employees.

    Nominations and eligible employees – one employer

    Question: My employer has asked me to nominate with them for JobKeeper. Do I have to do it? What happens if I don’t?

    Answer: It is not compulsory to nominate your employer for JobKeeper. If you don’t nominate them, they cannot receive the JobKeeper payment for you. If you usually earn less than $1,500 a fortnight, this means that your employer will probably not increase your pay to at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), unlike for other employees who do nominate.

    Question: I'm not a long-term employee. Can my employer claim JobKeeper for me?

    Answer: This depends on whether you are employed casually.

    If you are a casual employee, you must have been employed on a regular and systematic basis by your employer since 1 March 2019.

    If you are a permanent employee or employed on a fixed contract, you must have been employed by your employer as at 1 March 2020.

    Question: I am a casual employee. Can my employer claim JobKeeper for me?

    Answer: It depends on how long you have worked for them and your pattern of work. Your employer may be entitled to receive JobKeeper payments for you if you are a long-term casual employee. That means you have been employed on a regular and systematic basis by your employer since 1 March 2019.

    Your employer should make an assessment of whether you are a long-term casual who can qualify. They will consider things like the regularity of your shifts to determine your eligibility.

    Question: The business I work for has changed ownership since 1 March 2020. Am I still an eligible employee?

    Answer: Yes, you are still an eligible employee of a business for the purposes of the JobKeeper scheme (if all other conditions are also satisfied). The acquiring entity will be treated as having employed you prior to the business changing owners.

    For casual employees, in determining whether you are a long term casual employee (that is, employed by an entity on a regular and systematic basis during the 12 month period ending on 1 March 2020), the time you worked before the business changed ownership is counted.

    Question: What happens if I change jobs during the JobKeeper payment period?

    Answer: If you change jobs after 1 March 2020, your new employer will not be eligible to claim JobKeeper payments for you. However there are some limited exceptions that may apply when you remain employed within the same corporate group.

    Question: My employment has changed from casual to permanent after 1 March 2020. What effect does this have?

    Answer: Unless you were a long-term casual at 1 March 2020 you will not be eligible for JobKeeper, even if you subsequently become a permanent employee.

    Question: My employer told me that they do not qualify for the JobKeeper scheme as they are wholly-owned by a foreign government. Is this correct?

    Answer: Yes, entities that are wholly-owned by a foreign government do not qualify for the JobKeeper scheme. There is a similar exclusion for entities that are wholly-owned by an Australian government agency or local governing body.

    Nominations and eligible employees – more than one employer

    Question: I am an employee of more than one employer. Can I change the employer who receives the payment for me?

    Answer: No – once you have agreed to be nominated by one of your eligible employers and completed the Employee nomination notice, you cannot change the employer who is claiming JobKeeper payments for you. If you have an employer you are permanently employed with you cannot nominate your casual employer.

    Question: I have two casual jobs and one employer is claiming JobKeeper payments for me. Do I have to quit my other job?

    Answer: No – you can have two jobs. However, you can only complete an Employee nomination notice for one employer.

    Question: I have been stood down and my employer is claiming JobKeeper payments for me. Can I earn income from another job while my employer gets JobKeeper payments for me and continues to pay me?

    Answer: You can earn additional income without your eligibility being affected as long as you maintain your employment (including while being stood down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.

    Question: I am employed under a fixed-term contract that is due to expire. How long can my employer claim JobKeeper payments for me?

    Answer: Your employer can continue to claim JobKeeper payments for you for fortnights starting before your employment ends, until 27 September 2020. Your employer cannot claim JobKeeper payments for you for fortnights starting after you have ceased employment

    Question: I am a long-term casual employee of an eligible employer. I also have a second casual job with a different employer. My employer from my long-term casual job is registering for JobKeeper. Can they receive the $1500 payment for me?

    Answer: If you are a long-term casual of one employer, that employer will be able to claim the JobKeeper payment for you.

    If you are a long-term casual of two employers (or more) and you receive nomination forms from both employers, you must choose which employer will claim the payment for you and return the completed nomination form to them.

    If neither employer is an eligible employer, neither employer will be able to claim for you.

    Amounts paid

    Question: Who pays JobKeeper to me and how much do I receive?

    Answer: If your employer is eligible to receive a JobKeeper payment for you, you should, in most cases, receive an amount at least equivalent to the JobKeeper payment before tax in your normal pay.

    We do not pay the JobKeeper payment to you and you cannot apply to the ATO to get it. Refer to How much you will get from your employer for further information.

    Question: Why have I received less than $1,500 from my employer?

    Answer: The payment you receive from your employer is generally treated the same as salary or wages for tax purposes, so your employer must withhold income tax and any other amounts that are ordinarily withheld from your wage or salary. Examples of amounts withheld from salary are HECS-HELP repayments and salary sacrifice arrangements.

    Check your payslip for your payment before income tax and any other amounts that are ordinarily withheld from your wage or salary.

    Example – employees of eligible employers participating in the JobKeeper scheme

    Barry, Omar, Li and Aput are four good work friends who have worked for the same employer for years. Their employer is going to claim JobKeeper payments for all four so must pay each at least $1,500 before tax to each:

    • Barry ordinarily receives $1,800 a fortnight before tax and his salary sacrificed amounts, and is continuing his normal hours, so he will continue to receive his regular income and the JobKeeper payment will help his employer by subsidising part of his ordinary income.
    • Omar ordinarily receives $900 a fortnight before tax and his HECS-HELP repayment, so he will receive $1,500 a fortnight before tax and his HECS-HELP repayment is withheld.
    • Li has been stood down, so she receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax and any other amounts ordinarily withheld).
    • Aput was employed as at 1 March 2020, but ceased employment on 20 March and was re-hired on 1 April, so he will receive at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax and other amounts ordinarily withheld).
    End of example

    Question: My employer said she will pay me less than $1,500 a fortnight and she will pay me more later after they have received JobKeeper payments. Is that right?

    Answer: No. JobKeeper payments reimburse your employer after they pay your wages or salary. Your employer is only eligible if they pay you at least $1,500 (before taxes and other amounts ordinarily withheld) each fortnight.

    For the first month there is a special arrangement. If employers pay employees late (up to 8 May) they can still qualify for JobKeeper.

    Question: My employer told me that he will pay me $600 a fortnight, claim JobKeeper, and pocket the difference to help get his business back on its feet. Is this okay?

    Answer: No, it is not. Employers are not eligible for payments if they don’t pay the full amount to employees. Your employer must pay at least $1,500 (before tax) a fortnight to his eligible employees. The JobKeeper payment reimburses your employer for this payment.

    See also:

    Question: My friend has had her pay increased to $1,500 for JobKeeper, but my employer says JobKeeper is not available for them and they are not increasing my pay. Why?

    Answer: Not all employers are eligible for JobKeeper, so not all employers will increase the pay of those earning less than $1,500 a fortnight. One of the requirements is that the business has suffered a significant downturn, generally at least 30% for most businesses and at least 50% for larger businesses.

    See also:

    Sole traders

    Question: I am a sole trader – am I eligible for JobKeeper?

    Answer: As a sole trader, you may be eligible for JobKeeper as an eligible business participant. You can easily check your eligibility online – see JobKeeper Payment – Sole traders.

    Other questions

    You can always speak to your employer or visit ATO CommunityExternal Link, which is available 24/7 with questions, answers and regular updates.

    Additional information is available from our partner agencies:

    See also:

      Last modified: 13 May 2020QC 62325