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The Federal government will provide a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight to around 6 million workers as part of a historic $130 billion JobKeeper payment.

The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit from the coronavirus.


The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer. Where a business has stood down employees since 1 March, the payment will help them maintain connection with their employees.


The first payments will be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office. Businesses can begin distributing the payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May.


Eligible employers are those with annual turnover of less than $1 billion that have a reduction in revenue of 30% or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period. Employers with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more would be required to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of 50% or more. Businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy will not be eligible.


Businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders, as well as not-for-profit entities, including charities, are eligible. Self-employed individuals are also eligible.


Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment, as well as casual employees who have been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months.


Income support partner pay income test


Over the next six months, the government is temporarily expanding access to income support payments and establishing a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight.


JobSeeker payment is subject to a partner income test and the government is temporarily relaxing the partner income test to ensure that an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker payment and associated Coronavirus Supplement, providing their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight or $79,762 per annum.


The personal income test for individuals on JobSeeker payment will still apply.


“We will give millions of eligible businesses and their workers a lifeline to not only get through this crisis, but bounce back together on the other side,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.


“This is about keeping the connection between the employer and the employee and keeping people in their jobs even though the business may go into hibernation and close down for six months.


“When the economy comes back, these businesses will be able to start again, and their workforce will be ready to go because they will remain attached to the business through our JobKeeper payment.”