SME Guide: Australian Government's JobKeeper Payment Scheme

Posted by Cedric Joshua Martinez
May 16, 2020
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Little by little, economies around the world are now starting to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the impact is still being felt especially by small-sized and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The Jobkeeper payment scheme has been launched by the Australian Government to support SMEs along with other stimulus and support programs.

Here’s what you need to know about the Jobkeeper Payment Scheme and how it can help your business and your employees.

small business owner reading about the australian jobkeeper payment scheme

READ: Government Support to SMEs During COVID-19 (Infographic)


What is the JobKeeper Payment Scheme

According to the Australian government’s website, the JobKeeper Payment is a support scheme for businesses to help them pay for their eligible employee’s wage of at least AU$1,500 per fortnight.


How does the JobKeeper Payment Scheme work?

Employers must pay their eligible employees a minimum of AU$1,500 per fortnight to claim the payment. Each eligible employer will receive a reimbursement of AU$1,500 per employee paid. If employers fail to continue paying their employees for each pay period, they will be disqualified from the payment scheme.


Who are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme? 

Employers who meet all the following qualifications are eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  •  You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced either a:
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools)
    • You may use this test to calculate your fall in turnover
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories


On the other hand, the following employees may be eligible if by 01 March they were either:

  • full-time, part-time or fixed-term
  • a long-term casual that you employed regularly for at least 12 months

There are other eligibility criteria that your employee must meet. Make sure to check them all.

If your employee agrees to be nominated by you for JobKeeper, they must complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you for your records.



Applying for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme

If you meet these eligibilities, you may apply through the Australian Tax Office’s website. You may follow this guide for more detailed information.


Maximizing the JobKeeper payment scheme and other government support programs is one way how SMEs can better handle the ongoing crisis. If you need more assistance in applying for the JobKeeper payment scheme, D&V Philippines is here to assist you.

Our team of accountants specialising in Australian compliance will assist you in preparing your requirements and filing them accordingly. You may also check our brochure to learn more about our specialised solutions for SMEs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Download our Outsourcing How to Make it Work below to find out how we make finance and accounting outsourcing for SMEs.

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Our Outsourcing: How to Make it Work guide explores how you can utilize accounting and finance outsourcing to drive growth to your business and add value to your processes.