Here I have outlined what is the Australian JobKeeper payment, Employees Eligible for JobSeeker, Employers Eligible for JobSeeker, the payment process, payment timing, how to apply, the Australia Government Coronavirus information and support website for businesses and information from the NZ Hearld Article, where I first found out about JobKeeper. Also where to get help if you have returned to New Zealand.
If you were employed on the 1st of March 2020, you will need to talk to your employer regarding the below, as it is them who need to apply.
Currently Australia’s borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
You can see if you are eligible to enter Australia on the Australia Government Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia.
If you are eligible you may need to undergo enhanced health screening on arrival in Australia and then all arrivals will be quarantined for 14 days and state and territory travel restrictions may also apply.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for international travellers: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-international-travellers.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a Government subsidy to continue paying their employees. Employers affected will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from the 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. Please note this is able to get back dated to the 30th March.
This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the Covid-19 crisis is over. For employees, it means they can keep their job and earn an income, even if their hours have been cut.
The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses in Australia impacted by the coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the New Zealanders self-employed in Australia.
The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.
The JobKeeper Payment will support employers to maintain their connection to their employees. This will enable business to reactivate their operations quickly, without having to rehire staff, when the crisis is over.
Eligible employees are employees who:
If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.
Above information from this Government Australia website: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.
Treasury fact sheet for employees: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employees.pdf.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
Read more about the eligibility of employers here on the Australia Government website: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.
Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment.
Where employers participate in the scheme, their employees will receive this payment as follows.
Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO.
The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses will be able to register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website.
Currently, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) from 30 March 2020.
Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
To read examples of what the JobKeeper payments look like read this: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.
COVID-19 update: The Australia Government has announced a JobKeeper Payment for employers, employees and sole traders. You can find this information and stay up-to-date on the latest support for business on their coronavirus page: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/~/link.aspx?_id=94034B42D77347C68B6E29D80EDEA7CA&_z=z.
If you have already returned to New Zealand because of COVID-19, then you need to read the New Zealand Government website COVID-19: https://covid19.govt.nz/.
This website has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out what help is available and get the latest updates: https://covid19.govt.nz/.
New Zealanders living in Australia on a Special Category visa (SCV/444 visas) will be able to access the AU$1,500 fortnightly payments, the Australian government has confirmed.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had spoken with Jacinda Ardern about the arrangement.
Thousands of New Zealanders were forced to leave Australia after finding they were unable to access Centrelink payments after they had lost their jobs.
The SCV/444 visa is a temporary visa allows you to visit, study, stay and work as long as you remain a New Zealand citizen. It is applied for when you arrive in Australia submit your completed incoming passenger card with your New Zealand passport.
The changes were announced yesterady, as part of a new government package to aide those affected by Covid-19 in Australia.
Scott Morrison has pledged AU$130 billion over the next six months to help Australians who have found themselves out of work.
He said the AU$130 billion was to “support the jobs and livelihoods of the almost six million Australians who will need that lifeline in the months ahead”.
The Australian government is also introducing a AU$1,500 “Job Keeper” payment that New Zealanders on SCV/444 visas will be eligible for. Businesses will be paid up to AU$1,500 a fortnight for the next six months per employee.
The payment is a flat rate of AU$1,500 regardless of how much their normal wages are.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had spoken to Australia’s PM Scott Morrison that morning and had again pushed the case for New Zealanders to be covered by any job scheme (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120535935/coronavirus-jacinda-ardern-pleads-with-australia-to-help-kiwis-laid-off-during-economic-crisis).
“It is a group I am concerned about. I have seen ongoing reporting of some of the issues that they’re facing, and I see this as a unique situation. For me, this is a particular set of circumstances that I’m very keen to find a way to address.”
Last week she had criticised the decision to leave New Zealanders out of some Covid-19 support packages, because New Zealanders do not get welfare benefits in Australia unless they have become citizens. Australians do get those benefits in New Zealand, and Australian workers here are also covered by the Covid-19 specific support measures.
“If anyone falls on a hard time, it’s the same hard time,” Scott Morrison said. “We are all in this together, that’s what’s fair, that’s what’s Australian.”
Scott Morrison said the Job Keeper payment is to “to keep Australians in their jobs even when the work dries up”.
According to Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the payments would also be available to part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. Payments will start from the first week of May but will be backdated to yesterday. Employees stood down since March 1 will be eligible.
Ardern has responded to the news Kiwis are included in Australia’s wage subsidy scheme, saying she had pleaded New Zealand’s case several times. “New Zealanders are a core part of the Australian workforce. Many are working in essential services. Others have built their careers in Australia and paid taxes for years, so it’s really pleasing the Australia Government has agreed to provide them a wage subsidy.
“We need to unite and look after everyone to beat Covid-19 and Prime Minister Morrison and I are in regular contact about our respective efforts to beat the virus and support our people.”
Trans-Tasman bubble possible at alert level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals.
The tourism industry is pushing hard to have a working strategy in place by the end of the May, getting ready for when the Government opens the borders in a Trans-Tasman bubble.