What JobKeeper, JobSeeker changes mean for you

 

Jobkeeper payments have helped keep about 1 million businesses afloat and covered wages for about 3.6 million employees.

On Tuesday legislation was passed which has allowed the scheme which was due to end this month to run through until March 28 next year.

Here's everything you need to know about JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

WHAT IS JOBKEEPER?

It is the Federal Government's $101 billion program that was announced on March 30 and will now run for 12 months.

It is the largest one-off fiscal measure and is a temporary subsidy for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19.

WHAT IS THE AIM OF JOBKEEPER?

To help businesses and jobs survive and provide income support for employers and employees who need it.

The payment gives businesses and not-for-profits impacted by the pandemic access to a wage subsidy from the government so employees can continue to be paid.

It also means employees can keep their jobs even while their employer navigates its way through the pandemic.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR JOBKEEPER?

For business and not-for-profits wanting to claim JobKeeper payments from September 28 they will need to show they have suffered continued significant decline in their turnover.

For more details visit business.gov.au.

HOW MUCH ARE JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS?

Eligible employers, sole traders and other entities who have proved they have a turnover that is down by 30 per cent have been able to receive $1500 (before tax) per eligible employee per fortnight until September 27.

WHEN WILL JOBKEEPER PAYMENTS FALL?

Legislation has passed in the Senate which means the payments will drop from September 28 to $1200 per fortnight for full-time employees.

They will then fall again from the beginning of January to $1000 per fortnight.

These changes apply to those working at least 20 hours per week.

For part-time employees their payments will fall later on September 28 to $750 a fortnight and then again in January to $650 a fortnight.

All payments are scheduled to end on March 28, 2021.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN SECTORS THAT HAVE TAKEN UP JOBKEEPER?

Industries include construction, professional, scientific and technical services, health care and social assistance.

IS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT TAX FREE?

No. JobKeeper payments must be included as income in your tax return.

Tax is withheld from payments at your marginal tax rate so you may end up receiving less than $1500 per fortnight in your bank account or the changed amounts once they reduce.

CAN BUSINESSES STILL APPLY FOR JOBKEEPER?

Yes. You can enrol for the JobKeeper payments at any time until the program closes. Visit the Autsralian Taxation Office's website.

IS JOBKEEPER SUBJECT TO PAYROLL TAX?

For employers who are accepting JobKeeper payments these payments are exempt from payroll tax.

This applies to the full $1500 fortnightly payment per eligible employee.

WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WITH JOBKEEPER?

Some part-time workers and casuals received an increase in income due to the flat rate payment and the incentive to work additional hours was impacted.

WHAT CHANGES ARE BEING MADE TO JOBSEEKER?

JobSeeker - previously known as the Newstart allowance - had its payment doubled to about $1100 a fortnight in March and there was also the introduction of an additional coronavirus supplement.

From September 25 the supplement will fall to $250 a fortnight, which means the total JobSeeker payment will be about $800 per fortnight.

These arrangements will stay in place until the end of December.

WHAT ARE THE EXACT JOBSEEKER PAYMENTS?

Under existing arrangements single recipients are entitled to $1115.70 per fortnight.

This includes $565.70 JobSeeker payment and the $550 coronavirus supplement.

These amounts vary depending on a person's situation.

This will then drop at the end of the month to $815 a fortnight when the coronavirus supplement is reduced by $300 per fortnight.

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT?

It's a fortnightly payment of $550 if you get an eligible income support payment and is taxable income.

This is automatically given to people on income support including Jobseeker payments, youth allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY until September 24 before it is wound back to $250 per fortnight.

From last month JobSeeker recipients must connect with employment services and undertake four job searches a month.

There will be penalties if they refuse a job.

WHO WILL CONTINUE TO GET THE CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT?

Both existing and new income support recipients will continue to receive the temporary coronavirus supplements while the economy recovers through until December 31.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as What JobKeeper, JobSeeker changes mean for you


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