The JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Program is coming to a close, at least, Stage 1 is. When this historic program was launched in March 2020 it was thought that collectively we would be in a Post COVID world by now. However, as the original end date of 27/9/2020 looms very close, the reality that Post COVID is still many months away has been accepted, and JobKeeper has been extended into Stages 2 and 3, albeit in a changed manner. As the date for the end of Stage 1 looms ACAPMA explores common practical questions facing businesses.

JobKeeper Recap

The JobKeeper Program comprises of two elements; the wage subsidy and the flexibility provisions. The first place to start is to understand the operation of these two elements. Check out ACAPMAs detailed articles on these for the general and detailed information on the program operation.

JobKeeper Stage 2 & 3 – Everything you need to know

JobKeeper Stage 2 &3 – Directions and Flexibility Options Changed and Extended

JobKeeper Q & A

My business is participating in JobKeeper now, but we will not qualify for Stage 2, do I have to tell the ATO?
There is no need for the business to notify the ATO that your business will not qualify for Stage 2. All the business needs to do is to not lodge the Claim with the ATO for the pay periods and not lodge the decline in turnover form. Despite this, it should be noted that it is important to check in to ensure that the business is not receiving the JobKeeper Stage 2 payments in error, and to contact the ATO urgently if payments are received in error.

My business is participating in JobKeeper now, but we will not qualify for Stage 2, do I have to tell my staff?
It is advised that staff be notified that the JobKeeper wage subsidy will no longer apply, but to clearly outline that all time worked will continue to be time paid.

It should be noted that further communication will be needed if the business is an eligible Legacy Business who will be implementing the flexibility provisions (see; JobKeeper Stage 2 &3 – Directions and Flexibility Options Changed and Extended for more)
Such a communication may look something like;

Dear [name],
As you are aware the Jobkeeper program is coming to the end of stage 1 with 27/9/2020 being the last day. 
The business will not be eligible/enrolling in the next stage of JobKeeper. 
As such JobKeeper Top Up amounts will cease from 28/9/2020. 
As always all time worked will continue to be paid at the Award/Agreement rates. 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regards
[name]

My business will qualify for JobKeeper Stage 2, but we have decided we do not want to receive the payments, do I have to tell the ATO?
There is no need for the business to notify the ATO that your business does not wish to participate in Stage 2. All the business needs to do is to not lodge the Claim with the ATO for the pay periods and not lodge the decline in turnover form. Despite this, it should be noted that it is important to check in to ensure that the business is not receiving the JobKeeper Stage 2 payments in error, and to contact the ATO urgently if payments are received in error.

I have read that Stage 2 rates are different, what are they?
The Minimum Wage Condition, the amount that has to be paid to the staff each fortnight, is lower in Stage 2 and is dependent on the average number of hours worked by the employee in the 4 weeks before the applicable test date – see; JobKeeper Stage 2 & 3 – Everything you need to know for the detail on the payments

I have read that because I was in Stage 1 I can still access Flexibility options as a Legacy Business, is that true?
Yes…but…there are many caveats and requirements. Legacy Businesses have to demonstrate a 10% reduction in turnover and hold a certificate attesting to this, and even then the nature of the flexibility options available are significantly different than for participating businesses in Stage 1. Any business who has or wants to issue a direction regarding flexibility should see; JobKeeper Stage 2 &3 – Directions and Flexibility Options Changed and Extended for more

The JobKeeper Program has been a massive and evolving emergency response, and it is not uncommon for businesses and staff to have questions. ACAPMA Members are reminded that they can reach out to ACAPMAs Employment Department with any questions via employment@acapma.com.au

ACAPMA