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  • Your eligible employees

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    Working out your eligible employees

    The eligibility criteria for your employees depends on the JobKeeper fortnight.

    From 3 August 2020, you may be able to nominate new employees as eligible employees. These new employees must:

    • have been employed by you on 1 July 2020, and
    • meet the other eligibility criteria.

    This can include employees that:

    • you employed after 1 March 2020, or
    • were employed by you on 1 March 2020 but were not eligible employees for fortnights ending on or before 2 August 2020 – for example, because they only turned 18 after 1 March 2020.

    Before 3 August 2020

    To be an eligible employee for JobKeeper fortnights ended before 3 August 2020, employees must satisfy:

    From 3 August 2020

    For the fortnights starting on 3 and 17 August 2020, employers have until 31 August 2020 to meet the wage condition. This only applies for new eligible employees under the 1 July eligibility test.

    Your employee is an eligible employee for a JobKeeper fortnight starting on or after 3 August 2020 if they:

    • are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired) at any time in the JobKeeper fortnight
    • didn't receive any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight  
      • government paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay
      • a payment in accordance with Australian workers compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work
    • agree to be nominated by you (see Nominating employees)
    • either  
      • were an eligible employee for a JobKeeper fortnight ended before 3 August 2020 using the 1 March test, or
      • meet certain conditions at 1 July 2020 (the 1 July 2020 test).

    To meet the 1 July 2020 test, the employee must meet all of the following criteria on 1 July 2020:

    • they were employed by you as either a  
      • non-casual employee (whether full-time, part-time, or fixed-term)
      • long term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis during the 12 -month period that ended 1 July) who was not a permanent employee of any other employer at the time they provided you with an employee nomination notice
    • they were 18 years or older (if they were 16 or 17 years old they can also qualify if they were independent or not studying full time on 1 July 2020)
    • they were an Australian resident under the Social Security Act 1991, which requires they reside in Australia, and are one of  
      • an Australian citizen
      • the holder of a permanent visa, or
      • a Protected Special Category Visa Holder.

    You can find more information about these requirements from the Services Australia website under residence descriptionsExternal Link.

    Your employee can also be an Australian tax resident who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

    Employees who aren't permanent residents of Australia must notify you of their visa status to allow you to determine if they're eligible for JobKeeper payments.

    You cannot claim for employees who:

    • were first employed by you after 1 July 2020
    • left your employment before 1 July 2020 (except in limited circumstances, see terminated employees)
    • have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer (except in limited circumstances, see nominating employees)
    • are casual employees, unless they were employed by you on a regular and systematic basis during the 12-month period that ended 1 July 2020.

    If you are an approved provider of child care services, you cannot claim for employees who have ordinary duties relating principally to the operation of those services on or after 20 July 2020.

    If you decide to participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme, nominate all your eligible employees. You should not nominate only some. However, individual eligible employees can choose not to participate.

    If your employees have multiple employers, they can usually choose which employer they want to be nominated by. However, if your employees are long-term casuals and have other permanent employment, they must choose their permanent employer. They can't be nominated for the JobKeeper payment by more than one employer.

    For JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 you can nominate an employee that has previously agreed to be nominated as an eligible employee by another employer or as an eligible business participant.

    However, you can only nominate them if they meet all the following:

    • between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020, your employee stopped being  
      • an employee of their previous employer, or
      • actively engaged as an eligible business participant
    • at the time they agree to be nominated by you, your employee has not    
      • been rehired by their previous employer, or
      • restarted being actively engaged as an eligible business participant
    • other requirements to be an eligible employee for you for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 (including the 1 July 2020 test).

    See also:

    Nominating employees

    The design of JobKeeper is that all eligible employees of an employer who has decided to participate in the scheme are paid at least the JobKeeper amount per fortnight. The employer claims for each of these employees and is not meant to pick and choose between eligible employees.

    Within 7 days of enrolment in the JobKeeper scheme, you must:

    • inform your relevant employees of your election to participate in JobKeeper
    • explain the steps the employee must take to agree to be nominated.

    You must also have given a JobKeeper employee nomination notice to any additional employees that first become eligible on or after 3 August 2020 using the 1 July test. You should have given this to your newly eligible employees by 24 August 2020.

    Employees who have already given you an employee nomination notice before 3 August 2020 do not need to give you another employee nomination notice.

    If you haven't given all relevant employees an employee nomination notice within the required time, you need to do this as soon as possible.

    If your relevant employees agree to be nominated by you, they must return a completed JobKeeper employee nomination notice to you. This is required to confirm that your employee is an eligible employee under the JobKeeper scheme. You must keep this as part of your legal record keeping obligations. You don't need to give us the employee nomination notice.

    You may choose to create your own employee nomination notice if it's not practical for employees to complete and return our notice to you. This allows you to use your own portal or communication channel to obtain this information.

    From 28 September 2020, there are two payment rates for the JobKeeper payment.

    You will need to notify us whether the higher tier 1 rate or the lower tier 2 rate applies to each eligible employee before you can claim for fortnights from 28 September 2020. For more information on how to notify us, see the relevant JobKeeper guide.

    Within 7 days of notifying us of which rate applies, you must also notify your employees in writing.

    The process for nominating is different for:

    • sole traders
    • other eligible business participants – for example  
      • a partner in a partnership
      • an adult beneficiary of a trust, or
      • a shareholder or director of a company
    • religious practitioners who are not employees.

    Child care eligibility changes from 20 July 2020

    From 20 July 2020, eligibility for payments for a JobKeeper fortnight will stop for employees of an approved provider of child care services, if the employees’ ordinary duties relate principally to the operation of those services.

    These ordinary duties could be performed by a wide group of employees if their duties relate principally to the child care service – including:

    • educators
    • centre directors and managers
    • administration staff
    • cooks
    • cleaners
    • gardeners, and
    • research or advocacy staff.

    If you are a business running mixed services

    If you provide other services in addition to child care services, such as aged care, some of your employees may still be eligible. Employees who perform mixed duties, will only remain eligible if their ordinary duties in a fortnight do not principally relate to the operation of the approved child care service.

    If you have employees who undertake child care related activities that are minor or secondary to their main responsibility, they may still be eligible for JobKeeper payments.

    The principally test will be met if the majority of the ordinary duties relate to the operation of the approved child care service. The application of this test will also not be affected by an employee's leave.

    Example 1: Diversified business including child care services

    Aussie Care runs a number of child care services, aged care communities and training programs and employs 300 staff nationally. Aussie Care is an approved provider for these approved child care services.

    Of its employees, 100 are permanently employed in its child care services and 120 are permanently employed in its aged care and training services. Aussie Care also employs 20 staff who work on a flexible basis between its child care and aged care services. Fifteen of these staff spend the majority of their time in the aged care and training services. The remaining five staff spend the majority of their time in the child care services.

    Aussie Care also has 60 staff who are permanently employed in the national office. Of these employees, 20 have duties that principally relate to the operation of the child care services. The duties undertaken by these staff include general management functions, as well as research and advocacy and roles in relation to Aussie Care’s child care services. Ten employees in the national office are responsible for staffing and payroll across the organisation (including the child care services).

    Aussie Care is not entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment for:

    • the 100 employees permanently working in its child care services
    • the 5 employees working on a flexible basis who principally work in its child care services, and
    • the 20 employees in the national office whose duties principally relate to the operation of those services.

    Subject to other conditions, Aussie Care is entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment for:

    • the 120 employees permanently working in its aged care and training services
    • the 15 employees working on a flexible basis that principally work in the aged care and training services, and
    • 40 of the employees in the national office.

    These include the 10 employees in the national office responsible for staffing and payroll, as their duties are not principally related to the child care services.

    End of example

     

    Example 2: Working out if ordinary duties of an employee principally relate to the operation of child care services

    Anne is employed by an entity that is an approved provider of approved child care services and which also operates aged care support. Her ordinary and longstanding duties of employment require her to work in the child care service for four days of a ten day fortnight. The other six days she is required to work at the aged care centre.

    Accordingly, as the expected pattern of her employment duties continues to require 60 percent of her time to be spent working in the aged care centre, her employer may continue to claim the JobKeeper payment for Anne. This is subject to the mix of her ordinary duties continuing in the future and provided the other general conditions of eligibility continue to be met.

    End of example

    Staff that are no longer eligible

    Do not continue to claim payments for child care service employees for JobKeeper fortnights if they are no longer eligible. You will not be reimbursed for payments made to these employees after JobKeeper fortnight 8 (6 July to 19 July 2020).

    The JobKeeper guides have information on the steps you need to take if you have staff that are no longer eligible, depending on your circumstances:

    Rules for those under 18 years old

    Before 3 August 2020

    From JobKeeper fortnight 4, starting 11 May 2020, new eligibility requirements for employees who were 16 or 17 years old on 1 March 2020 were introduced.

    The changes meant that 16 and 17 year-old employees who were identified as eligible for the first 3 JobKeeper fortnights (30 March to 10 May 2020) may not have been eligible employees under the JobKeeper scheme after 10 May 2020.

    For those who were 16 or 17 years old on 1 March 2020 to remain eligible employees for fortnights ending between 11 May and 2 August 2020, they must have been either:

    • independent on 1 March 2020, or
    • not in full-time study on 1 March 2020.

    An employee who was 15 on 1 March 2020 and has since turned 16 won't be eligible for JobKeeper for fortnights ended before 3 August 2020. This is the case even if they were independent or not in full-time study during that period.

    Some employees that were under 18 years old on 1 March 2020 may become eligible employees for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020.

    On or after 3 August 2020

    Employees who were 16 or 17 years old on 1 July 2020 and not previously eligible can become eligible for a JobKeeper fortnight starting on or after 3 August 2020 if they:

    • satisfy the 1 July 2020 test and other eligibility requirements, and
    • either were  
      • independent on 1 July 2020, or
      • not in full-time study on 1 July 2020.

    You'll need to provide a JobKeeper employee nomination notice to any 16 and 17 year-old employees that you reasonably believe will now be eligible for JobKeeper under the 1 July 2020 test. They should complete the notice and return it to you as soon as possible.

    Change of business ownership

    An entity that acquires a business after 1 March 2020 must still meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for the JobKeeper scheme. Importantly, you cannot rely of the history of the previous business owner to qualify for JobKeeper.

    If you have recently acquired a business, and you qualify for JobKeeper, eligible employees of that business can become your eligible employees if all other eligibility requirements are met.

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

    Nominating as a sole trader or eligible business participant

    You can also nominate if you're a:

    • sole trader or
    • eligible business participant of a partnership, trust or company.

    Sole traders can complete the nomination process through ATO online services using myGov, in the Business Portal or through a registered tax or BAS agent.

    A partner, adult beneficiary of a trust, or a shareholder in or director of a company, must complete the Eligible business participant nomination notice (excluding sole traders). This provides a record you've agreed to be nominated as an eligible business participant by your eligible business. Your eligible business will receive JobKeeper payments for you.

    Eligible businesses can enrol by logging in to the Business Portal using myGovID or through a registered tax or BAS agent.

    From 28 September 2020, there are two payment rates for the JobKeeper payment. The payment rate will depend on whether the sole trader or eligible business participant was actively engaged in the business for at least 80 hours during their reference period (usually February 2020).

    Before claiming a JobKeeper payment from 28 September 2020:

    • sole traders will need to notify us whether the higher tier 1 rate or the lower tier 2 rate applies to them. For more information, see the JobKeeper guide – sole traders an eligible business must notify us of the payment rates that applies to its eligible business participant. Within 7 days of notifying us, the business must also notify the eligible business participant in writing. For more information, see the relevant JobKeeper guide.

    There are penalties for making a false or misleading declaration.

    See also:

    Nominating a religious practitioner who isn't an employee

    If you are a religious institution, you can nominate a religious practitioner for a JobKeeper payment if:

    • you remunerate a minister of religion or a full-time member of a religious order to perform religious activities for you
    • they are not an employee.

    You can enrol through the Business Portal or through a registered tax or BAS agent.

    Before you enrol, you need to notify each eligible religious practitioner that you intend to nominate them under the JobKeeper Payment scheme. They must agree to be nominated by completing the JobKeeper religious practitioner nomination notice.

    Before JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020, you will be entitled to one $1,500 payment per fortnight for each of your eligible religious practitioners.

    From 28 September 2020, there are two payment rates for the JobKeeper payment. You will need to notify us whether the tier 1 (higher) rate or the tier 2 (lower) rate applies to each of your eligible religious practitioners before claiming for fortnights from 28 September 2020. The payment rate is based on the hours your religious practitioner spent in the pursuit of their vocation with your religious institution. For more information on how to notify us, see the relevant JobKeeper guide.

    Within 7 days of notifying us which JobKeeper rate applies to your eligible religious practitioner, you must also notify them in writing.

    See also:

    Employees stood down or on long term leave

    Employees who have been stood down under the Fair Work Act 2009 without pay may still be eligible employees if they were in your employment and met the eligibility criteria.

    You need to have paid them the relevant JobKeeper amount for each fortnight you claim for, to receive the JobKeeper payment.

    Terminated employees

    If you terminated an employee, you can re-engage them and claim JobKeeper payments for them if they met the eligibility criteria.

    If you want to claim the JobKeeper payment for employees you've terminated, you need to:

    • confirm they want to be re-hired and participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme with you
    • re-engage the employees you want to claim for
    • if they haven't previously provided you one, ask them to complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice (or your own employee nomination notice). You're required to keep this form as part of your record keeping obligations
    • if they have previously provided you with an employee nomination notice, and all the following apply  
      • they were an eligible employee using the 1 March test
      • they stopped being employed by you before 1 July 2020
      • they were re-engaged by you after 1 July.

    Ask them to complete a notice stating whether they have given an employee nomination notice to another entity. You will not be able to claim JobKeeper payments for them if they have given an employee nomination notice to another entity

    • tell us whether the tier 1 or tier 2 payment rate applies for JobKeeper fortnights from 28 September 2020
    • start paying them the relevant JobKeeper amount (before tax) for each fortnight they're employed that you claim for.

    You'll only be paid a JobKeeper payment for employees from the fortnight they were re-engaged. You can't claim retrospectively for employees for JobKeeper fortnights that they were not employed by you.

    Example 3: Re-engaging an employee

    Peta runs a retail business. Peta employed John in June 2020 as a full-time employee. Due to the effects of COVID-19, she decides to stand down John on 20 July 2020. Peta meets the original decline in turnover test. She decides she wants to re-engage John and receive the JobKeeper payment for him as an eligible employee for the fortnight beginning 3 August 2020.

    Peta needs to confirm John wants to participate and, if so, obtain a completed employee nomination form from him. Peta pays him at least $1,500 to be eligible to claim a JobKeeper payment for John in the fortnight.

    On 1 October 2020, Peta considers the JobKeeper extension for fortnights starting 28 September 2020. Peta calculates that she meets the actual decline in turnover test and notifies the ATO. Additionally, Peta establishes that John had a total of 85 hours of work, paid leave and paid public holidays during his reference period. For the JobKeeper fortnight starting on 28 September, Peta notifies the ATO that she is entitled to the tier 1 rate for John. She notifies John that the tier 1 rate applies to him. She pays John at least $1,200 per fortnight to be eligible to claim a JobKeeper payment for John after 28 September 2020.

    End of example

    After you've worked out you and your employees are eligible

    If you meet the eligibility criteria and want to start claiming the JobKeeper payment for your employees, you need to start paying them the relevant JobKeeper amount per fortnight and continue to pay them for as long as you keep claiming.

    For JobKeeper fortnights ending before 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper amount is $1,500.

    From 28 September 2020, there are two payment rates for the JobKeeper payment. The payment rates will reduce from 4 January 2020.

    The payment rate will depend on the employee's total hours of work, paid leave and paid public holidays during their reference period. You must notify us whether the tier 1 rate or tier 2 rate applies to each of your eligible employees. You need to do this before you can claim a JobKeeper payment for JobKeeper fortnights starting from 28 September 2020. For more information on how to notify us, see the relevant JobKeeper guide.

    You must also notify your employees in writing of which rate applies to them, within 7 days of notifying us.

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    Last modified: 21 Oct 2020QC 62128