For the next six months, the Australian Government will commit $130 billion to support the jobs of Australians by offering government-funded fortnightly payments of $1,500 to each employee of businesses adversely affected by the Coronavirus.

$1.5K Jobkeeper subsidy to keep staff employed

Date– From 30 March 2020 for six months
– For employees employed at and from 1 March 2020
– First payments in first week of May 2020
Applies to
Based on comparable periods:
– Employers <$1bn who experienced a downturn of over 30%
– Employers >$1bn who experienced a downturn of over 50%

A subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight per employee, administered by the ATO, will be paid to businesses that have experienced a downturn of more than 30% (50% for businesses over $1bn).

To be a part of the subsidy, employers will need to ensure that their employees receive at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). See the example below.

Eligible employers

  • With a turnover below $1bn, who have experienced a reduction in turnover of more than 30%, relative to a comparable period 12 months ago (of at least a month); or
  • With a turnover of $1bn or more, who have experienced a reduction in turnover of more than 50%, relative to a comparable period 12 months ago (of at least a month); and
  • Not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Sole traders and the self-employed with an ABN, and not-for-profits (including charities) that meet the turnover tests are also eligible for the JobKeeper payment.

Eligible employees

  • Were employed by the relevant employer at 1 March 2020; and
  • Are currently employed by the employer (including those who have been stood down or re-hired); and
  • Are full time, part-time, or long term casuals (a casual employee, employed on a regular basis for 12 months as at 1 March); and
  • Are at least 16 years of age; and
  • Are Australian citizens, who hold a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • Are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.

While it appears that businesses without employees can potentially qualify for JobKeeper Payments, it is not clear at this stage what conditions will need to be satisfied.

How the support is calculated

The ATO will administer this program, and will make the $1,500 payments based on payroll information. The payments will be made monthly in arrears, so it is essential that you ensure your business and your employees continually meet the eligibility criteria.

The business will continue to receive the payments for eligible employees while they are eligible for the payments. While the program is expected to run for 6 months, payments will stop if the employee is no longer employed by the relevant employer.