During this post-pandemic business recovery period, as you navigate the economic challenges, it is vital you are aware of any assistance programs which may assist your business to bounce back – e.g. the recent JobKeeper payments and the most recently announced JobMaker program.
Did you know… the Federal Government’s new $4 billion JobMaker Hiring Credit will provide businesses with an incentive to take on additional employees aged between 16 and 35 years old. Around 450,000 positions for young Australians will be supported through the JobMaker Hiring Credit program.
So the question is… Do you know how your business can benefit from the JobMaker assistance measures available?
What is the JobMaker scheme?
The Federal government introduced the JobMaker Hiring Credits scheme (JobMaker), to assist businesses to recover and rebuild from the impact of COVID-19 closures through 2020, and to encourage employment opportunities for people who had previously been unemployed.
JobMaker opened for claims on 1 February 2021 for businesses that register and meet the eligibility requirements before the scheme ends on 6 October 2021.
1. Accessing JobMaker
Employers wanting to take advantage of the scheme must:
- register with ATO online services, the Business portal, or through their registered tax or BAS agent.
- nominate their eligible additional eligible employees by running payroll events through their Single Touch Payroll (STP) enabled software; and
- claim payments – employers need to enter their headcount and payroll for the JobMaker period in the ATO online service. The ATO will calculate claim amounts based on the information provided.
Both employers and employees must satisfy the eligibility criteria for employers to claim the JobMaker. Employers cannot receive JobMaker if:
- they also receive a JobKeeper for any employee in a fortnight that started during the JobMaker period they claim for, or
- if other government wage subsidies applied to the nominated employees.
JobMaker is paid to employers every three months in arrears. The first JobMaker period that can be claimed for (7 October 2020 to 6 January 2021), opened for claim on 1 February 2021. Unlike JobKeeper, JobMaker is not payable to the employees.
Eligible employers may receive payments of up to:
- $200 a week – for each eligible additional employee aged 16 to 29 years old inclusive; or
- $100 a week – for each eligible additional employee aged 30 to 35 years old inclusive,
if their eligible employees:
- have worked or have been paid for an average of at least 20 hours per week they were employed in the JobMaker period.
- prior to employment, had received JobSeeker, Parenting Payment or Youth Allowance (except if they receive the allowance because they are undertaking full-time study or are a new apprentice); and
- have not filled in a JobMaker employee notice for another employer they work for.
The subsidy is available for eligible additional employees for up to 12 months from their employment start date, hired up until 6 October 2021.
2. Eligible Employers
Employers wishing to claim JobMaker must:
- register for the JobMaker; and either
- o operate a business in Australia; or
- o be a not-for-profit organisation operating in Australia; or
- o be a deductible gift recipient (DGR) endorsed either as a public fund or for a public fund you operated under the Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme (DGR item 9.1.1) or for developed country relief (DGR item 9.1.2); and
- hold an Australian business number (ABN).
- be registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding.
- have not claimed JobKeeper for a fortnight that started during the JobMaker period (on or after 12 October 2020).
- be up to date with income tax and GST returns for the two years up to the end of the JobMaker period for which they are claiming.
- satisfy the payroll increase and the headcount increase conditions.
- satisfy reporting requirements, including up to date Single Touch Payroll (STP) reporting; and
- not belong to one of the ineligible employer categories.
3. Payroll Increase and Headcount Increase
To receive JobMaker, an organisation must demonstrate that it is creating new employment opportunities. Organisations will be required to show that they have legitimately increased their employee headcount and payroll to qualify for the payment.
Employers will not be eligible, or will be disqualified, if they enter into an arrangement to artificially inflate their headcount or payroll by terminating or reducing the hours of any existing employees in an attempt to access or increase payments under JobMaker.
An employer who is disqualified in this way loses all entitlements to JobMaker for any JobMaker period that ends after the termination or reduction in hours occurred, and as well as subsequent periods.
The rule would generally not apply to a termination or reduction in hours that the employee has volunteered for, to meet their needs or preferences. However, the employer could be subject to disqualification if the employee were manipulated or coerced into agreeing to the changes.
4. Reporting Requirements
To remain eligible to receive JobMaker, employers must comply with single touch payroll (STP) obligations and provide any further information required in STP. Employers must then complete a claim form for each JobMaker period in which they are eligible.
STP reporting is due three days before the end of the JobMaker claim period an employer claims for. Eligible employers must report the following information in STP for each employee they intend to claim for:
- tax file number (TFN)
- date of birth
- full name
- start date of employee (if occurring in the JobMaker period)
- end date of employee (if occurring in the JobMaker period)
- whether your employee met the hours requirement.
5. Ineligible Employers
An employer may not be entitled to claim JobMaker for a range of reasons. Most relevant to small and medium sized businesses, the following employers are ineligible to receive JobMaker:
- a company is in liquidation or provisional liquidation; or
- an individual wishing to claim has entered bankruptcy; or
- the entity is disqualified because it terminated the employment or reduced the hours of work of an existing employee or employees for the sole or dominant purpose of receiving or increasing payments under the JobMaker.
6. Effect of other payments
Employers receiving the following Australian Government wage subsidies cannot also claim JobMaker Hiring Credits:
- Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage subsidy.
- Australian Apprentice Wage subsidy.
- Boosting the Apprenticeship Commencements Wage subsidy; or
- Restart, Youth Bonus, Youth, Parents or Long-term Unemployed Wage Subsidies,
Employers only need to register once for the scheme but will need to report their headcount and payroll in each reporting period they wish to claim for.
If you plan to make a claim for the first JobMaker period, you must register by 30 April 2021.
If you need assistance in understanding or complying with obligations for JobMaker or JobKeeper, or have other questions related to the effect of COVID-19 on your business, you can contact me to discuss them.
It can be a daunting prospect for businesses and managers to not only know where to start, but how to manage your workforce.
Akyra can provide you with a review of your workforce to assist with compliance, entitlement clarifications, for JobMaker... plus, a multitude of additional HR tailored services and support to ensure you are compliant with the Fair Work Act.
Every industry and business will have unique requirements and for further guidance or advice on human resource management. CONTACT US NOW to book a time to discuss any areas of HR concern; after which we will provide a way forward where it might be needed.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not and is not intended to be, legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.
Source: https://www.activelaw.com.au/jobmaker-may-assist-your-organisation-to-rebuild-after-covid/ February 12th, 2021
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