Wednesday, 6 May 2020

JobKeeper: What is it? And what does it mean for me?

The Commonwealth Government has introduced a financial assistance package called JobKeeper to help employers retain staff during the COVID-19 health crisis.

We are aware that some disability providers (Aruma and Ability Options) have already applied for funding and others are planning to. Employers are asking their “eligible employees” to complete a Nomination Notice, which is a requirement of the scheme. Before your employer can receive government funding, each employee who wants to participate in the scheme and receive a payment must complete a Nomination Notice.

Before you sign a Nomination Notice and return it to your employer, here is some basic information about the JobKeeper Scheme. This is intended as general information for CPSU NSW members only and is based on the current Government advice as at 30 April 2020. This information is not specific to individual circumstances; if you would like to discuss your specific circumstances please contact the CPSU NSW.

What is the JobKeeper Scheme?

The JobKeeper scheme has been implemented to assist businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 supplement their employees’ wages.

The scheme includes a payment of $1,500.00 (gross) a fortnight for each eligible employee.

At this stage, it is not certain how long the JobKeeper program will be in place.

Who is eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme?

Your employer will be eligible for JobKeeper if, as a registered charity, they can demonstrate their turnover has fallen, or is likely to fall, by 15 per cent since the same time last year.

You will be eligible if you are:

  • employed on a full-time or part-time basis, or were a long-term casual employee;
  • an Australian resident or 444 visa holder; and
  • as at 1 March 2020, you were an employee of the employer.

A long-term casual means and employee who has been employed by the business on a “regular and systematic basis” for at least 12 months prior to JobKeeper beginning. Unfortunately, at this stage, casuals with less than 1 months’ continuous service are not eligible for JobKeeper.

Government parental leave payments and workers’ compensation payments may affect your entitlement to JobKeeper. You may wish to seek advice from Services Australia.

My employer has asked me to nominate with them for JobKeeper. Do I have to do it? What happens if I don’t?

It is not compulsory to nominate your employer for JobKeeper. If you don’t nominate them, they cannot receive the JobKeeper payment for you.

What happens if I work multiple jobs and both of my employers are eligible?

You are only able to receive the JobKeeper payment from one employer. You should contact your employers and tell them which employer you want to receive the JobKeeper payment from.

What will I get paid if I am participating in the JobKeeper scheme?

I am still working. What will I get paid if my income is more than $1500 per fortnight?

If you are still working your usual hours you will continue to be paid for the hours you work. If you are working reduced hours, the JobKeeper payment will assist your employer to subsidise your wage.

Your employer receives the same payment for every eligible employee no matter your income or hours of work, so even if you earn less than $1,500.00 (gross) a fortnight, you are still entitled to receive the full JobKeeper payment. You will still receive the full JobKeeper payment regardless of your usual income, if you have been stood down or have had your hours reduced.

What do I get paid if I my income is less than $1,500 per fortnight?

With JobKeeper, you will still receive the full JobKeeper payment regardless of your usual income, if you have been stood down or have had your hours reduced.

How will I receive this payment?

If you and your employer are eligible and have chosen to participate, you will be paid by your employer. This payment will be treated the same as salary or wages for tax purposes, so your employer must withhold income tax and any other amounts that are ordinarily withheld from your wages or salary.

At this stage, it is not certain whether you will receive superannuation on the JobKeeper payment or any additional wages your employer makes when you are receiving the JobKeeper payment.

Receipt of the JobKeeper payment may affect other welfare entitlements, Government parental leave payments and workers’ compensation payments. You may wish to seek advice from Services Australia.

What changes can my employer make if I am participating in the scheme?

For more information on the changes your employer can make to your duties, location, days or times, click HERE.

If you think a direction from your employer may be unreasonable, you should immediately contact the CPSU NSW on 1300 772 679.

Do I have to take annual leave if my employer asks me to?

If you are covered by the copied State award, Ageing Disability and Home Care – NSW Department of Family and Community Services (Community Living Award) 2015, the usual provisions in relation to your employer directing you to take leave still apply.

In addition, if your employer is claiming the JobKeeper subsidy there are additional circumstances in which they can direct or request that you take leave. For more information, click HERE.

Where can I find more information on JobKeeper?

If you would like further information about JobKeeper you can visit the ATO and Fair Work Commission websites.

Remember, we are here to help! Contact the CPSU NSW on 1300 772 679.

Not a member? Join today.

CPSU NSW – With You at Work!