Jobkeeper Payments

JobKeeper Payments

What is it?

The Federal Government is providing $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight to employers to keep employees connected to their businesses.

Who is eligible?

  • To be an eligible employer, the turnover of the organisation must have dropped by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and non-government schools who are subject to 30%) from a comparable period. Entities endorsed under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme or for developed country relief meet the requirement that not-for-profits pursue their objectives principally in Australia.
  • Eligible employees are those who:
    • Are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down and re-hired);
    • Were employed by the employer on 1 March 2020;
    • Are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
    • On 1 March 2020 were 18 years of age or older (if they were 16 or 17 they can also qualify for fortnights before 11 May 2020, and continue to qualify after that if they are independent or not undertaking full time study).;
    • Are an Australian Citizen, holder of a permanent visa, or special category visa holder at 1 March 2020;
    • Were a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
    • Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer.

What do I do?

  • Check your organisation meets the eligibility requirements.
  • Check your employees meet the eligibility requirements and for which JobKeeper fortnights.
  • Enrol before 31 May 2020 to claim for fortnights in April and May, provided you have met the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights.
  • Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight was the period from 30 March to 12 April). For the first two fortnights, the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 for each fortnight has been paid, even if paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.
  • Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payments already from another employer.
  • Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to nominated employees. Once completed, these forms should be kept on file and provided to your registered tax or BAS agent if you are using one.
  • Enrol for the JobKeeper payment by logging into the Business Portal using myGovID here. To receive JobKeeper payments as early as possible, you should enrol by the end of April, however enrolments are open until the end of May. Select ‘Manage employees’ then the link for the JobKeeper payment.
  • Fill in the JobKeeper enrolment form and provide your:
    • Eligibility information
    • Expected number of eligible employees
    • Contact and bank details
  • Notify all your eligible employees that you have nominated them.
  • Identifying and maintaining your eligible employees’ information will be done through STP enabled payroll software.
    • If it is updated with JobKeeper functionality, you will be able to do this directly into your STP enabled payroll software
    • If your payroll software is not updated, you will be able to do this in the Business Portal by selecting employee details that are prefilled from STP pay reports, or by using a sample payload file.
    • If you do not have STP enabled payroll software, you can identify your employees in the Business Portal by manually entering information or using a sample payload file.
  • Within 14 days of the end of each calendar month, other than for April which has been extended to 31 May 2020, you will need to reconfirm your reported eligible employees and provide information as to your current and projected GST turnover. This is not a retest of eligibility, but rather an indication of how the organisation is progressing under the JobKeeper Payment scheme. Ensure your eligible employees’ details are up to date before completing your monthly declaration, which can be provided through your STP enabled payroll software (if it is updated with JobKeeper functionality for the eligible employee requirements), the Business Portal or via your registered tax or BAS agent.The monthly declaration is lodged through the ATO online services or Business Portal by selecting “Step 3 – Business monthly declaration for JobKeeper payment”.

When will payments be received?

Payments will be available from the first week in May and will be backdated to the 30th of March. Subsequent payments will be received from the ATO monthly in arrears.


What is GST turnover?
GST turnover for the purposes of the JobKeeper payments is gross income, excluding:

  • GST included in any sales
  • Sales that are input taxed sales (e.g. bank interest, sale of shares, residential rental income)
  • Sales not connected with an enterprise you are carrying on
  • Sales not made for payment
  • Payments for no supply
  • Gifts and donations for entities other than deductible gift recipients and ACNC registered charities
  • Sales not connected with Australia

And including:

  • Receipt of tax deductible donations by a deductible gift recipient and gifts of money, property (with a market value of more than $5,000), or listed Australian shares received by an ACNC registered charity

Even if the organisation is not registered for GST, the GST turnover calculation still applies for the purpose of JobKeeper Payment eligibility assessment.

What is the consequence if I get the calculation of the current GST turnover amount wrong?
Entities should make a genuine effort to calculate and report current and projected GST turnover. If you later identify errors in the calculation, you will not be required to re-report to the ATO for JobKeeper, however BAS obligations are still required to be met.

Should we be calculating GST Turnover on a cash or accruals basis?
The ATO has advised that they expect Organisations to use the GST accounting method that is normally used when submitting the BAS. If you normally account for GST on an accruals basis, but seek to calculate on a cash basis (or vice versa), the ATO has advised that they may seek to understand the circumstances for using that basis.

Whichever basis you use must be used consistently in comparing the month or quarter in 2020 with the comparison period.

How do we determine if turnover has decreased by more than 15% or 30% and what is the turnover test period?
The periods for the turnover test comparison can be periods of one month or three months.

If a one month turnover test period is used, it must be one of the following months in 2020:

  • March, April, May, June, July, August, September; or

If a three month period is being used it must be one of the following periods in 2020:

  • The quarter that starts on 1 April 2020;
  • The quarter that starts on 1 July 2020

For example, to work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
  • GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
  • Projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019

I lodge quarterly and for the 2020 June quarter I am predicting my turnover will be down 30% compared to the 2019 June quarter, which month should I select in my application?
You should select the first month of the quarter you predict your quarter will be down, it doesn’t matter which month in the quarter the fall in turnover is expected. For example, select April for the June quarter and select July for the September quarter.

Are donations included in the GST turnover calculations?
Yes, donations that Charities and Deductible Gift Recipients receive or are likely to receive (including the value of non-monetary gifts) are also included in the calculation to work out the current turnover and projected turnover. This means that when Charities and Deductible Gift Recipients have a significant decline in donations they may qualify for the JobKeeper scheme.

Are government grants included in the GST turnover calculation?

Charities (other than schools and universities) are allowed to elect to exclude conditional government grants when calculating the GST turnover for JobKeeper. This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from the government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government grants, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.

An ANCN-registered charity cannot exclude payments received for providing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services from its turnover.

If you have elected to exclude government grants in the turnover test, complete and lodge an election to exclude government grants from turnover for ACNC registered charities form. The form is currently only available to be signed manually and emailed to the ATO, however this can be done in the Portal from 14th June. If you enrolled in JobKeeper before 13th June, this needs to be completed before 20th June. If you enrolled in JobKeeper after 14th June, it needs to be completed 7 days of enrolment.

Our organisation is a registered religious institution, are we eligible for JobKeeper?
Yes, JobKeeper Payments are able to be made to religious institutions in respect of religious practitioners, excluding those who are students only.

Turnover hasn’t decreased more than 15% or 30% for March, what if it does in subsequent months?
You can apply to start receiving the JobKeeper Payment at a later time once the turnover test has been met. In this case the JobKeeper payment is not backdated to 30 March 2020.

You must apply for the JobKeeper payment within 7 days of the end of a calendar month if you are entitled to a JobKeeper payment for a fortnight that ends in that month.

Our organisation is a University, are GST turnover calculations applied differently?
Yes, the ATO has provided a modified basic test which applies to Table A and Table B providers within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Refer to the ATO’s Turnover test for universities here.

Our organisation is less than 12 months old at 1 March 2020. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
Where there is no corresponding period in 2019, there are two alternative tests which can be applied to calculate the comparative period GST turnover. These are compared with the turnover test period discussed above.

  1. First alternative test available:
    1. If you use a one month comparison period, calculate your average monthly GST turnover based on each month you have been in business;
    2. If you use a quarter comparison period, calculate your average monthly GST turnover multiplied by three.
    3. If you started business before 1 March 2020, but on or after 1 February 2020, calculate the GST turnover before 1 March 2020, divided by the number of days you have been in business, multiplied by 29.
  2. Second alternative test available:
    1. If you use a one month comparison period and have been in business for three months or more as at 1 March 2020, you can use the GST turnover for the three months leading up to that date, divided by three.
    2. If you use a quarter comparison period and have been in business for three months or more as at 1 March 2020, you can use the GST turnover in 2.a. above, but do not divide by three.

Please refer to the Treasury legislation here for further information if you have been impacted by the Bushfires or received Drought Help concessions.

The organisation went through an acquisition/disposal/restructure which has changed turnover significantly. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
The ATO has released an alternative test which can be applied to determine the GST turnover. Refer to the Legislative Instrument and Explanatory Statement for more information.

Over the last 12 months our organisation has substantially increased turnover immediately before the turnover test period. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
An alternative test is available if the organisation has had an increase in turnover immediately before the applicable turnover test period of:

  • 50% or more in the 12 months immediately before;
  • 25% or more in the 6 months immediately before; or
  • 12.5% or more in the 3 months immediately before.

If you use a quarter comparison period, use the total GST turnover for the three months immediately before the applicable turnover test period. If a month comparison period is used, divide this by three.

This is then compared with the turnover test period discussed above.

Our organisation has irregular turnover. How do we determine if turnover has decreased?
An alternative test is available if the organisation’s turnover is not cyclical and for the quarters ending in the 12 months immediately before the applicable turnover test period, the lowest turnover quarter is no more than 50% of the highest turnover quarter.

If you use a monthly comparison period, calculate the average monthly GST turnover for the 12 months leading up to the test period. If a quarter comparison period is used, multiply this by three.

This is then compared with the turnover test period discussed above.

What records do I need to keep to show how I calculated GST turnover for the 2020 turnover test period?
You will need to keep evidence and sufficient records to demonstrate how you calculated your projected GST turnover during the 2020 turnover test period and show how you took reasonable steps in making that calculation.

For purposes of determining projected GST turnover, the ATO will accept calculations based on a bona fide business plan, accounting budget or some other reasonable estimate based on the evidence about the projected facts and circumstances for the remainder of the turnover test period. Examples of evidence which would support projected sales include a decline in sales or being required to close/pause business as a result of government COVID-19 restrictions, evidence of reliance on tourism and economic forecasts.

Does an employer have to be assessed by the ATO as being eligible before any payments are made?
Eligibility for JobKeeper payments is a self-assessment process, however if a payment is made and the ATO later determines that the entity was not eligible, or entitled to a lesser amount, the entity will be required to repay the overpaid amount.

I haven’t received all of the nomination forms back from my employees. Can I still complete Step 2 ‘Identify and maintain your eligible employees’ of the JobKeeper application now for the ones I have received?
Yes, you can. You can either:

  • Chose to complete step 2, listing the eligible employees you have received forms from now
  • Wait until you have received all the forms back

If you lodge now, you can add further employees later by contacting the ATO. You should encourage your employees to return their nomination forms to you as soon as possible.

Any eligible employees who do not return their forms by the 31 May (the deadline for enrolment to claim JobKeeper for the JobKeeper fortnights in April and May), will not receive JobKeeper for the JobKeeper fortnights in April. The first option should be selected by the end of May to ensure any eligible employees who have returned their forms can claim JobKeeper for the JobKeeper fortnights in April.

What happens if an employee resigns?
If the employee is one which you’re receiving JobKeeper Payments for, you must notify the ATO and potentially refund some money to the ATO.

What is included in the $1,500 minimum amount required to be paid to eligible employees?
The total of $1,500 includes:

  • Salary, wages, commission, bonus and allowances paid to the employee;
  • Tax withheld;
  • Salary sacrifice superannuation contributions; and
  • Agreed deductions

Some employees are on unpaid or paid leave, what do we do?
If these are eligible employees and you are an eligible employer, you will receive the JobKeeper Payment whether the employees are working, on leave or have been stood down.

Employees receiving Parental Leave Pay from Services Australia are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. However, employees on paid parental leave from their employee will be eligible.

Can employers select which of their eligible employees are covered by the JobKeeper scheme?
No, once an employer choses to participate in the JobKeeper scheme, all eligible employees (who have agreed to be nominated for the scheme) must participate, including employees who have been stood down.

How do I determine if a casual employee has been employed on a regular and systematic basis?
If there is a clear pattern or roster of hours, this is strong evidence of regular and systematic employment. If there is no clear pattern or roster, evidence can be established where the employer offered suitable work when it was available at times that the employee had generally made themselves available and work was offered and accepted regularly enough that it could no longer be regarded as occasional or irregular.

Am I required to pay PAYG on the JobKeeper Payment?
You must pay a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to your eligible employees, withholding PAYG tax as appropriate. The $1,500 per fortnight per employee is a before tax amount and forms part of the employees’ taxable income.

Am I required to pay Payroll tax on the JobKeeper Payment?
Payroll tax is determined by each state and territory. Refer to our information on State Government Assistance.

Will the JobKeeper Payments impact payments from Services Australia for relevant employees?
Employees who are receiving payments from Services Australia (such as NewStart or JobSeeker) will need to notify Services Australia if they are receiving a JobKeeper Payment. The payment will form part of the employee’s notifiable income.

I pay my employees under an Award, how will the JobKeeper scheme impact on pay rates?
The rate of pay will be no less than the employee’s current rate or the relevant rate of pay in the employee’s award or agreement – whichever is greater. Refer to the worked examples below for further information.

Employers need to continue to comply with their obligations to employees under contracts, enterprise agreements, modern awards, etc., subject to the implementation of lawful measures such as stand down, etc.

My eligible employee’s contracted duties are no longer required, but I want to keep them on under the JobKeeper Scheme. What can I do?
An eligible employer who qualifies for the JobKeeper scheme may alter the employee’s duties and location of the employee’s work. These directions must be safe, reasonable, within the skills and competencies of the employee, and within the scope of the business’ operations.

An employer can also alter an employees’ hours of work by directing an employee to change either the days the employee works, the number of days the employee works or reduce the employees’ hours to zero (i.e. stand down). This only applies where the employee cannot usefully be employed at their normal days or hours because of changes attributable to COVID-19 pandemic; or government initiatives to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The following conditions also apply:

  • The direction must be in writing
  • Provide at least 3 days’ notice before direction is given
  • Consult with the employee and keep written records of the consultation
  • If an employee is taking paid or unpaid leave, the direction doesn’t apply. However if the employee normally receives a leave payment that would be less than the JobKeeper payment for a fortnight, the employee is still entitled to an amount that is equal to the JobKeeper payment for the fortnight.

If employees have been stood down without pay since 1 March 2020, what happens if the employer is able to find a work opportunity where the employees may be able to work, say 3 days per week? Does the employer pay the difference between the earnings that week and the $1,500?
The JobKeeper payment is not income-tested, so employees may earn additional income without their payments being affected, provided they maintain their employment (including being stood down) with their employer who is entitled to receive JobKeeper payments.

What are the requirements I need to meet as an eligible employer when paying eligible employees?

  • Ensure you are paying the minimum $1,500 before tax to each eligible employee each fortnight (starting with the fortnight 30 March – 12 April) to claim the JobKeeper payment for that fortnight
  • Continue to pay employees you are claiming for either:
    • Every subsequent fortnight until 27 September 2020; or
    • Until your employees stop being eligible or you opt out of JobKeeper
  • The ATO will not provide the reimbursement for the JobKeeper payment for employees who were not paid the full amount during each JobKeeper payment period.

What happens if we pay employees monthly rather than fortnightly?
If your payroll period is less or more frequent than fortnightly, the payment can be allocated between fortnights in a reasonable manner. For example, if you pay every four weeks, it will be reasonable if the employee is paid at least $3,000 every four-week period.

I wasn’t able to pay employees before the first JobKeeper fortnight ended (12 April), what do I do?
For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April and 13 April – 26 April), ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment before tax has been paid for each fortnight even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020. This means you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before 8 May 2020, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before 8 May 2020.

What happens if our actual GST turnover for our turnover test period is greater than our projected GST turnover?
The ATO has advised that you will not lose access to the JobKeeper Scheme unless they have reason to believe that your calculation of your projected GST turnover was not reasonable.

However a significant variance between accrual and projected turnover may trigger an enquiry from the ATO.

If the ATO determines that a scheme has occurred with the sole purpose of obtaining a JobKeeper payment, or increased amount of JobKeeper payment, the Commissioner will be able to recover any overpayments and will have the power to impose penalties and interest.

Do I need to report my April current GST turnover and May projected GST turnover to the ATO by the 7 May 2020 due date?
No, for April the ATO has extended the due date to 31 May 2020. However as the ATO uses the April GST turnover confirmation to ensure an entity is entitled to a JobKeeper payment, if you choose to report your April GST turnover amounts later than 7 May 2020, your JobKeeper payment will also be delayed.

For reporting months other than April, do I need to report my current and projected GST turnover to the ATO by the 14th day of the following month?
Yes, the extended due date only applies to the monthly reporting requirement for April. The ATO have advised that the sooner you make your monthly Business Declaration, the sooner you will receive your JobKeeper Payment.

Worked Examples:

Employer with employees on different wages
Adam owns a real estate business with two employees. The business is still operating but Adam expects that turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent in coming months. The employees are:

  • Anne, who is a permanent full-time employee on a salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax and who continues working for the business; and
  • Nick, who is a permanent part-time employee on a salary of $1,000 per fortnight before tax and who continues working for the business.

Adam is eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for each employee, which would have the following benefits for the business and its employees:

The business continues to pay Anne her full-time salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax, and the business will receive $1,500 per fortnight from the JobKeeper Payment to subsidise the cost of Anne’s salary.  The business will continue paying the superannuation guarantee on Anne’s income;

The business continues to pay Nick his part-time salary of $1,000 per fortnight before tax and an additional $500 per fortnight before tax, totalling $1,500 per fortnight before tax. The business receives $1,500 per fortnight from the JobKeeper Payment which will subsidise the full cost of Nick’s salary. The business must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on the $1,000 per fortnight that Nick is earning. The business has the option of choosing to pay the superannuation guarantee on the additional $500 paid to Nick under the JobKeeper Payment.

Sourced from:

Employer with employees who have been stood down without pay
Zahrah runs a beauty salon in Melbourne. Ordinarily, she employs three permanent part-time employees, but due to the Coronavirus she has temporarily closed her doors as a business and has stood down her three employees without pay.

Zahrah’s turnover will decrease by more than 30%, so she is eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for each employee. She receives $1,500 per fortnight for each of her three employees for up to 6 months and she is required to pass these payments onto the employees. Zahrah will maintain the connection to her employees, and be in a position to quickly resume operations.

Zahrah is required to advise her employees that she has nominated them as eligible employees to receive the payment. It is up to Zahrah whether she wants to pay superannuation on the additional income paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

If Zahrah’s employees have already started receiving income support payments like the JobSeeker Payment, when they receive the JobKeeper Payment they must advise Services Australia of their change in circumstances online at or by telephone.

Sourced from:


 Links for further information

ATO JobKeeper Payment


Fair Work JobKeeper Changes to the Fair Work Act

Government Support

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

JobKeeper Payments


JobSeeker Payments


Federal Government Initiatives

Federal Government Initiatives

State Government Assistance

State Government Assistance

Help Available

Other Financial Assistance


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