COVID-19 UPDATE – $160B Jobkeeper Stimulus Package

Breaking news from announcements made by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison this afternoon regarding the new Jobkeeper payments.

This has been expected for a few days now, however the $160 Billion package is to keep employees in a job during this crisis.

Today’s announcement means there has been over $320 billion in fiscal and monetary policy stimulus announced in just over a fortnight. The largest ever in Australia.

Here is a quick summary of the package –

  • A flat payment of $1500 per fortnight “Jobkeeper” subsidy payment for workers
  • These payments will be received by employers to pay employees
  • Equivalent to about 70% of the median wage. In the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, this is equivalent to about 100% of the median wage.
  • Eligible employees include full time, part time and casual workers (if worked for employer 12 months or more).
  • Centrelink partner threshold rate has been raised to $79,000 for those seeking to receive Job Seeker payments. This means Australians will be eligible for welfare payments even if their partner earns up to this amount.
  • The Government has costed the Jobkeeper payment to run for 6 months – double that of UK and New Zealand schemes
  • Integrity measures will be via Single Touch Payroll
  • Employers must register with ATO to be eligible to receive payments.
  • Applies to not-for-profit entities and New Zealanders on 444 Visas – not for other Visa types at this stage
  • Payments to employers start from 1 May 2020.
  • The cash will flow from 1 May 2020, but will be backdated to 30 March 2020.
  • Turnover must have fallen by 30% or more (If turnover is above $1 Billion, more than a 50% reduction)
  • If from 1 March, and you are an employer and employees have been stood down – these employees are considered employed
  • Employees cannot receive both Jobseeker (first stimulus package announced) and Jobkeeper payments – one or the other.
  • No superannuation levy on this payment – legislation will clear this up.
  • With employees that have been retrenched or terminated, if they were on the books on 1 March 2020, these employees are eligible to receive $1,500 fortnightly payments. The employer would need to re-instate these employees. It is not clear if leave entitlements which may have been paid out to these employees effects the eligibility of the Jobkeeper payments.

This is not law yet, our advice to employers is this – tell your employees that you will seek advice, and provide clarity when it becomes law.

Parliament would need to be recalled to give legislative effect for today’s funding announcement which is supported by the Opposition.

The PM announced that further details regarding rental / tenancy are still being considered.

All our team members are now working remotely and are fully operational. You can still contact them directly by email, or by telephoning the office number 03 9374 8400 and your call will be directed to the required team member. We will endeavor to contact you as quickly as possible.

The team are committed to provide our clients with as much knowledge, information and assistance that we possibly can, to ensure you get what you are entitled to for your business.  Your business success and continuity is important to us and you and we will work with you to battle through these turbulent times together.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at any time and we will do our best to help.

In the event that you are unsure who to speak to within our team, simply send an email to and we will get the right person to call you.