JobKeeper legislation passes parliament

- April 8, 2020 2 MIN READ

The federal government’s third tranche of stimulus which focused on the JobKeeper payment has passed parliament. Small businesses, including sole traders, with an annual turnover of less than $1billion whose revenue has dropped by 30 per cent or more will now be eligible for the subsidy.

The flat payment of $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee will be deliverer by the Australian Tax Office (ATO. Small businesses are encouraged to head to the ATO website to register their interest in receiving the subsidy.

It is important to note employers will need to continue operating and paying their staff to receive the payment with the subsidy kicking in the first week of May and backdated to March 30.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has welcomed the news of the legislation passing suggesting it is a lifeline that will help keep small businesses open..

“The government’s $130 billion JobKeeper scheme is the biggest financial lifeline Australia has ever seen and I congratulate parliament for passing the legislation with bipartisan support,” Carnell said.

“The JobKeeper payment is critical to the survival of small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Crucially it will allow small businesses to continue operating and paying their staff. It will also keep small businesses connected to their staff, who have been stood down, so they can re-engage their team when the time comes to ramp up.”

While Carnell says there has been some confusion around eligibility for the payment, she says the intent is easy to explain:

“This policy is to be inclusive of small and micro-businesses under financial strain in this difficult time. That includes, sole traders, partnerships, contractors, freelancers and trusts.

“My message to small businesses is – if you think you might be eligible, visit the ATO website and express your interest. You just need your ABN and contact details. The ATO will get back to you.

“Importantly, small businesses that have signed up for JobKeeper will need to make the payments now before they are reimbursed by the ATO in May.

“Above all, we know that there’s never been a tougher time to be in business, but the JobKeeper package provides the practical financial support and the hope small businesses need as we wait for this health crisis to pass.”

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