New Eligibility Conditions for JobKeeper Program

On 31 March, Treasury updated information in connection to the JobKeeper Program. As an employer, the changes are definitely worthy of your consideration.

Your staff are a significant asset to your business so are worth protecting. Conversely, letting them go will only deepen the financial distress the community is currently feeling as their income will be removed from circulation.

Avoiding this is in everyone’s interests. Additionally, when the inevitable recovery occurs, if you’ve kept your staff, you won’t be spending all your time training new people as there is no guarantee your old staff will return.

If you are an employer, I urge you to read the guidance below from Treasury…

“To establish that a business has faced a 30 per cent fall in their turnover, most businesses would be expected to establish that their turnover has fallen in the relevant month or three months (depending on the natural activity statement reporting period of that business) relative to their turnover a year earlier. Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where their turnover a year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, (e.g. because there was a large interim acquisition, they were newly established or their turnover is typically highly variable) the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business can provide to establish that they have been significantly affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus. The Tax Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances (e.g. eligibility may be established as soon as a business has ceased or significantly curtailed its operations). There will be some tolerance where employers, in good faith, estimate a greater than 30 per cent fall in turnover but actually experience a slightly smaller fall.”

As is clear from the statement above, the ATO has discretion to make allowances for businesses applying for this assistance. If your business turns over less than $1 billion (yes… billion!) and that turnover has reduced by around 30% for the comparable period last year, let’s discuss your options and look into getting this application in for you.

This is a trying time for many. Together, we can reduce the impact of the crisis and help each other through.

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