Updated 11th April.
Please reach out to us for help to understand how these measures may apply to you personally. All applications can be made with Centrelink directly, most can be handled online via myGov. Centrelink is currently advising not to visit their offices and instead persevere with online and phone applications.
Eligible employees are employees who are:
currently employed (including those stood down or terminated but re-hired and were employed at 1 March 2020), and
are full-time, part-time or long term casual, being a casual who was employed longer than 12 months on 1 March 2020, and
are at least 16 years old, and
are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or holder of a special category 444 visa.
You are only able to claim the JobKeeper payment through one employer. Where you would be eligible to receive the payment from two different employers, you must nominate the primary employer. You are required to provide a nomination form advising you are eligible before your employer can make the application.
Your employer is required to advise you they have made the application on your behalf within 7 days.
Your employer is required to pay you a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, but no less than your usual remuneration where you are still working those hours and you haven't voluntarily agreed to a reduction. The $1,500 can be made up of:
net amounts paid to you,
voluntary salary sacrificed amounts to your super fund,
any other manner agreed by you and the employer as reasonable.
Receiving the JobKeeper payment will affect your eligibility for JobSeeker payments through Services Australia. You must report any JobKeeper payments you receive as income to Services Australia and will be liable to repay any money you had received incorrectly.
The amount received through the JobKeeper payment is higher than that received through JobSeeker.
If you or your employer doesn't meet the eligibility criteria or does not sign up for the payments, or you have been terminated with no chance of re-hiring, you will not be eligible to claim the JobKeeper payment. You may still be eligible to claim the JobSeeker payment through Services Australia.
Income support for individuals
Over the next six months, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
Payments to support households
The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners. The second payment will not be made to those eligible for the Coronavirus supplement.
Temporary early release of superannuation
The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments. Applications are available through myGov from the 20th of April.
Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will reduce the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.
Reducing social security deeming rates
On 12 March, the Government announced a 0.5% reduction in both the upper and lower social security deeming rates. The Government will now reduce these rates by another 0.25%. As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25%.
There is also significant Federal assistance to the banking sector to allow for speedy access to lending or negotiate if you are suffering difficulties with repayments. Please contact your bank for further details on how they can assist you,
We wish everyone the best in this difficult time and remind clients to stay safe.