JobKeeper Payment Advice

Hi All, work has been pretty much dead and we have been losing more than 30% of revenue in the last month and is a company that makes less than 5 million a year.

Can my employer make us use our accrued annual/sick leave and long service leave while we are stood down for the next 3-6 months while the workplace is closed or are they obligated to apply for the Jobkeeper payments and pass this onto us (been working here for longer than 12 months)?

Or would I have to use my leave hours and apply for the Jobseeker payment with Centrelink instead?

Any advice is appreciated!

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Comments

  •  
    Merged from Stand down and Job Keeper

    If you have been stood down, and the company gets job keeper, does it mean that you have to go back to work ?
    And if so, does it mean you work full time ? Thanks for any clarification.

    •  
      Merged from JobKeeper Payment Advice

      Hi All, work has been pretty much dead and we have been losing more than 30% of revenue in the last month and is a company that makes less than 5 million a year.

      Can my employer make us use our accrued annual/sick leave and long service leave while we are stood down for the next 3-6 months while the workplace is closed or are they obligated to apply for the Jobkeeper payments and pass this onto us (been working here for longer than 12 months)?

      Or would I have to use my leave hours and apply for the Jobseeker payment with Centrelink instead?

      Any advice is appreciated!

      • +4 votes

        From my understanding. They are basically still paying you as per normal (or reduced hours if that's agreed to).

        So if:

        Income less than 1500, you still get1500 a fortnight

        Income more than 1500, you still get paid whatever you're supposed to be paid, but the government reimburse your first 1500 back to the employer.

        Just my interpretation.

      •  

        forced to use my annual leave here - ive got heaps of sick leave accrued, but I imagine they'd make me use my long service leave first
        company classed it as a shutdown - so only skeleton / essential staff required

        I'm effectively subbed out to a customer - at they've done the same thing too

        • +1 vote

          Could you clarify why your employer didn't apply for the Jobkeeper payment and why would they make you use your leave if the 1500 isn't out of their own pocket? Sorry I can't find much clarification on the fairwork website regarding this situation

          •  

            @Milk tea: To get it, they have to pay you full pay, so the employer has to fund the difference. The employer also has to show their revenue will be down enough, which is probably the case if they're shutdown.

            • +2 votes

              @Zephyrus: I don’t believe that is correct at all.

              •  

                @scanuck: I looked this up after your comment, you can be paid only the 1500 if the employees are stood down. If you want them to do any work (i.e. less hours at home), you have to pay the extra to bring them back to the normal pay rates.

                • +1 vote

                  @Zephyrus: There is no obligation to pay full/normal pay. This is being implemented as an alternative to Centrelink and to lessen the burden.

                  If you do 1 day a week (and your daily rate is less than $1500) - you will get $1500

                  If you are partially stood down but your wage is enough to get you over $1500 - the business will pay you what you earnt, but will be subsidised by $1500 from the government .

      •  

        A stand down is unpaid leave, but an employer may allow you to use annual or long service leave at their discretion. Personal leave shouldn’t be an option.

        Your employer isn’t obliged to apply for the JobKeeper, but you’d think it would be in their best interests to do so.

        •  

          A stand down is not leave - it’s a subtle but key difference. (But it is unpaid)

          You are stood down with no pay - and you can choose to use annual leave, long service leave, leave without pay or just be stood down.

      • +1 vote

        Can my employer make us use our accrued annual/sick leave and long service leave while we are stood down for the next 3-6 months while the workplace is closed

        There’s no way they’ll pay you SL in a stand down scenario. They wouldn’t force you to use AL, but your alternative is leave without pay. Some employees haven’t even been able to access AL.

        are they obligated to apply for the Jobkeeper payments and pass this onto us (been working here for longer than 12 months)?

        That’s up to them. If they can use you productively they can re-engage you (most likely on reduced hours), and use jobkeeper to help cover your wages. It’s money for them not money for you. If you remain fully stood down then it’s onto the lower job seeker payment.

        Or would I have to use my leave hours and apply for the Jobseeker payment with Centrelink instead?

        I believe it’s use your leave hours then apply for the Jobseeker payment

      • -1 vote

        First employer liable to,pay any long service leave or sick leave and paid holidays so you will get full wages but employer can claim during that period while paying your full wages which they can get from ato $750 every week to support their cash flow But that holiday wages you must get super annuation too. After run out your all holidays you will get still $750 per week without super from ato pays by your employer for 6 months started date from 30th march unless they get back in business and this crises over.

      •  

        When can an employee take or be directed to take annual leave?

        Employers and employees usually agree for the employee to take paid annual leave. In some circumstances, employers can require employees to take paid annual leave.

        Whether an employer can direct an employee to take annual leave in circumstances relating to coronavirus usually depends on what the relevant award or enterprise agreement says.

        For an employer to direct an employee to take annual leave, any award or agreement that applies must include a term allowing employees to be required to take annual leave in particular circumstances, and the requirement must be reasonable. For example, awards and agreements sometimes provide that employers can direct their employee to take annual leave when:

        the business is closed, for example during the Christmas and New Year period (this won’t always apply to coronavirus related closures)
        an employee has accumulated excess annual leave.

        Some awards and agreements allow employers to make these directions in a different range of circumstances. For example, the General Retail Industry Award allows an employer to require an employee to take annual leave as part of any close-down of its operations by giving at least four weeks’ notice. The Fast Food Industry Award does not allow directions to take annual leave during a close down of operations.

        If there is no award or agreement that applies to the employee, under the Fair Work Act the employer can direct them to take annual leave if the direction is reasonable, which includes circumstances where the employer is shutting down its business because of the impact of the coronavirus.

        Awards and enterprise agreements may also include rules about taking annual leave in advance of the employee accruing leave. Award and agreement-free employees can make an agreement with their employer to take annual leave in advance of accruing it.

        So to answer your question. It depends on your award. If no award then yes they can direct you

        Source - https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australi...

        • +1 vote

          I believe this applies before being stood down.

          ie - if your award, agreement, contract has a provision to direct leave - this can be invoked prior to being stood down; I don’t believe you can be stood down and then be directed.

      •  

        An employer is not obligated to apply for jobkeeper - but I really don’t see why one wouldn’t.

        Something I would like to highlight - you continue to accrue LSL, annual leave and sick leave while stood down, as well as years of service (which is key to LSL and some other things in certain industries)

        I have heard some disingenuous businesses pushing their employees to LWOP - please never agree to this, much better to just be stood down - even if your organisation is not applying for jobkeeper.

        •  

          The only reasons why I think my employer wouldn't apply for Jobkeeper payments is because they will have to pay the difference - so if an employee gets $2000 they have to pay the $500 on top when receiving the JK payments.

          Also the fact that they have to bother applying in the first place and that if we were stood down before the 1st May they would still have to pay us the usual wages instead of leave without pay before getting reimbursed by the government with the JK payments:(

        •  

          I think you only accrue A/L and LSL as normal if you are stood down and dont work at all. Employees who have their hours reduced, only accrue leave for the actual hours worked.
          Its crazy because someone who is stood down will get all their leave benefits and not have to work for the $1500/fortnight but someone who has hours reduced to one day a week, earns leave only on those hours worked and actually has to work one day for the same $1500.

          •  

            @Meho2026: You will earn full LSL and AL - normal for the time you work stood up and normal for what you don’t work stood down (regardless of the combination, so long as it’s recorded correctly)

            A pay slip will probably look like

            7.6 hrs worked
            30.4 hrs stood down

            38hrs total which entitlements are accrued from

      •  

        You can always do a temporary pay cut. If they don't raise your wage afterwards, you can always quit and find another job.

        All in all, you would probably be laid off anyway. This government support is just giving you temporary support via the employer.

      •  

        Bit off topic, if your hours are reduced lets say 3 days work, 2 days "stood down" because reduced business activities, can you choose not to take annual leave (although company suggests to take them), assuming you can survive with 3 day per week pay?
        Is it within the employee's right to make the choice in this situation?

        Keeping annual leaves for future where it may worth more as salary rises.. assuming the business still in operation long term lol

        •  

          Yeah you can choose to save your leave and go without pay during the reduced hours or being stood down period since it saves the business money not paying someone their wage I assume.

          •  

            @Milk tea: I'm sorry if this has been covered, but are you then eligible for JobSeeker or JobKeeper if you dont use your AL or LSL first?
            A close friend has been told they will no longer be paid beyond 16th April and are then to either use leave or apply for Centrelink.
            They have no idea on whether their business has reduced 30% in revenue but they have received reduced hours since about March.

            •  

              @sagrules:

              are you then eligible for JobSeeker or JobKeeper if you dont use your AL or LSL first?

              The key is if you were stood down or not. If you are stood down and don't use your leave you will get the minimum $1500. If you choose or are directed to use your leave then the $1500 payment will help your employer pay out those entitlements.

              •  

                @bemybubble: I know you are using the term "stood down", but I dont think the business would be using that term to their employees, is this essentially a "don't come to work" scenario ? Because as mentioned from 16th April they are told not to come to work.
                So they can choose not to use their entitlements first?

                •  

                  @sagrules: Businesses have to use that lingo - if you are told 'don't come to work' then the employer still has to validate why. The assumption is you are being stood down but they must tread carefully, as normal Fair Work laws apply.

                  If you are being told not to come to work I would, as the employee, clarify why and if you are being effectively stood down. If not then you would want to know why and whether it is in fact lawful…

                  •  

                    @bemybubble: told not to come to work because no need to come due to reduced business activities.. but only certain days for example.
                    is that considered as being stood down?
                    told to take AL, but do you have to? Can the employee choose not to take leaves?

                    •  

                      @OzFrugie: Sounds like you were stood down based on what you’re saying. But as mentioned you need to ask definitively.

                      Do you have to take AL? Depends on your award if they can force you. Otherwise if no award then generally speaking they can (refer to my fair work post above)

    •  

      Here you go:

      https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-manage...

      If an employee receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee.

      If an employee would otherwise receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax.

      If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax.

      What I perceive that to mean is:

      1) If you were making more than $1500 a fortnight and you are required to work full time, your employer is required to pay you your usual wages using the extra $1500 given to them by the government.

      2) If you were making less than $1500 a fortnight, an employer should be able to ask you to work full time and pay you at least $1500.

      3) If you are stood down but are kept on the payroll, the employer has to pay you $1500 for sticking around at home.

      •  

        1: yes

        2: Not full time - but they can roster you useful work and you’re expected to perform if inline with your normal duties

        3: yes

        4: if you previously worked full time, but your hours are reduced, you will make $1500 at a minimum for whatever worked perform.

    •  

      Depends on what the work is. For example if you're a pilot then you're probably not going back to work any time soon.

    •  

      It means your employment is still current, if your employer is eligible for Job Keeper you will still receive $1500 a fortnight.
      When business returns back to usual you will have your job back.

      The company may ask you to go back to work in that time if there is work to be done and may roster you up to $1500 of hours a fortnight in that time

  •  

    The Jobkeeper payment is an assistance provided by the Government to eligible businesses to cover the first 1500 dollars of the salary/wage paid by the them to their employees.

    The assistance will not be provided to the business for employees being paid less than 1500 dollars.

    The business have to nominate the employees that they wish seek to assistance for under the program.

    The employee can only be nominated by the business if the employee meets all the conditions required.

    Its at the discretion of the business whether they chose to nominate some or all employees.

    The payment to the business is made after the fact i.e after the business has already paid salary/wage to the employee.

    Its at the discretion of the business to say pay 1500 dollars to an employee who is ordinarily earning 500 dollars as casual while the program is in force and claim back the 1500 dollars or continue paying 500 dollars and not claim the assistance for that employee under the program.

    •  

      My employer has applied for the jobkeeper program and now sent out letters to employees as options to be nominated to get it. What happens if some of us don't fill in that employee nomination notice. Currently we are all still working fulltime, but the company must fall in the reduced income of 30%. What should I do?

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