JobKeeper Payment - Megathread

Hi everyone

There seems to be a number of forums in relation to the Jobkeeper Payment. Rather than having multiple threads, ask me questions in relation to the JobKeeper Payment and I will try my best to answer otherwise hopefully somebody else can as well.

Background: I am an accountant with years of experience

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  • R U OK?

  • How does JobKeeper work of an employee takes unpaid sick leave for a week? How do we inform ATO that they took sick leave? And does that impact their entitlement to JobSeeker.

    To add a bit more information. They would normally earn more than the $750 if they showed up for work, but they have are sick with no personal leave left, so taking unpaid leave instead.

    • An employee doesn't need to work to get jobkeeper. It is based on a fortnight. You need to pay them at least $1500.

      • That just seems like a rort now. We have work for them and want them to do work; but they can just sit at home and say they are taking unpaid leave; but still get paid $1500. I can't even hirer someone else to do the work instead of them as they won't qualify for the $1500 as a new employee.

        And to be clear - we have not stood down anyone and kept everyone as full time even though there was no work. Now, we have got some work; but the one employee doesnt want to work as they think they can get paid even if they don't show up.

        • Ahh ok, yeah that seems like a crappy situation and one I hadn't thought of. Ask them for a medical certificate at minimum. If they don't have a med cert then there isn't any entitlement to unpaid leave. Seems like there would be no benefit to keep them on, let them know they'll have to deal with Centrelink.

        • +2 votes

          Do they have a medical certificate for the days absent?

        • If they're getting JobSeeker they have to comply with employer's instructions, INCLUDING turning up to their shifts as requested by you. Failure to comply would be grounds for termination, as normal.

          If they've got a legit reason like sickness, then they'll need a medical cert as usual.

        • You do have the option to make them redundant (stopping their Job Keeper, moving them to Job Seeker), and then hire someone else when business picks up again.

          Sure, you will loose an employee and have to pay to train a new one, but the employee you're loosing is the said lazy employee that is screwing you over by not doing any of the work that needs to be done.

          I would guess their work is being offloaded to other people they work with. That is going to create a hostile work environment when they do return. Best case for that employee is they keep their job, have a permanent mark on their company record, and are now hated by their coworkers.

          It's surprising how many employees don't realize that while it usually is hard to fire someone, when a business has a 30%+ reduction in revenue (requirement for Job Keeper), it becomes really easy for a business to make people redundant. It sucks to say it but businesses do have a window now where they can fire lazy/bad employees without much repercussion.

          • @morebunnings: If they're refusing to work any shifts they can be let go with cause and will then be subject to at least an 8 week waiting period for JobSeeker. As an employee that's quite the risk, I don't think a lot of the people thinking they can exploit this realise.

        • +2 votes

          If they don't have a legit reason to take unpaid sick leave, what if you just don't sign that employee up for JobKeeper?

          Then they have the choice to either work to get paid, or find another job.

          • @lint: an employer does not get to choose which employees are included. One in all in.
            If you exclude staff then you run big risk of Fair Work proceedings for adverse action as well as explaining yourself to ATO

        • They can do that with paid sick leave as well.

    • inform the employee that they must get a medical certificate for every day absent.
      IF they don't, advise them that they are not following a reasonable direction from a manager.
      If it continues, you may well have a case for termination of employment (not because they took sickies) but because they refused to follow a reasonable direction from you as their manager to get medical certificates to support their absence.

  • Can you work a second job and still collect Job Keeper from your primary employer?

    Can your employer work out how many hours at your current pay rate equate to $1500. Then demand you work that amount of hours per fortnight and no less?

    • Yes, you're allowed to be employed casually by another employer and continue to receive wages from them if they're open.

      You can only claim from one employer/job though.

      Also per the form you'll need to let them know if you're claiming from the non-tax-free threshold job.

      No they cannot force you to increase hours, but the guideline is if they're open, you shouldn't have reduced hours.

      I'd imagine you should work with the employer you're getting support from because ultimately you're not in this to game the system.

      • Actually an employee may reduce your hours but they cannot increase your hours (perfect example is a casual who works 2-3 shifts a week and earns under 750 a week). You cannot increase their hours (unless they agree) so that the employer effectively gets free labour

        You can however under Jobseeker legislation lower the hours of an employee

        • Reading the wording, hours can be reduced if hours need to be reduced as a result of covid-19.

          I also need to clarify when I said "you shouldn't have reduced hours" I meant the employee shouldn't come out and say that only want to work one day to take advantage of jobkeeper. [Employee point of view]

          I'd imagine someone who's rostered on for 4 X 3 hours can't just say that only want to work 1 day to take advantage of jobkeeper.

    • Only if the second job is casual. But yes, it's expected people can pickup additional casual work (not start a new permanent job).

      It depends on your current agreement. If you're casual they cannot 'make' you work any hours, but they can, unfair dismissal aside, also let you go, so that may have the effect of them only keeping casuals that do agree to work more hours up to the $1500 worth. If you're permanent and normally earn more, they can reduce your hours to $1500 worth and you would need to use annual leave / sick leave to work less.

  • +1 vote

    What makes you an expert in the program?

    • I’ll edit the thread to make it a Jobkeeper megathread as I don’t all the answers. Just though to answer what i know.

  • There are reports of people/businesses scamming the government . Can you please explain what they are most likely doing ?

    • I have heard reports where employers are withholding $100 for 'administration' costs. This is illegal and employees should report the employer.

      Other reports are that employers are choosing specific employees. This is not allowed as essentially the employer will be required to provide the option for all employees. Whether the employee is eligible is another question.

      • Other reports are that employers are choosing specific employees. This is not allowed as essentially the employer will be required to provide the option for all employees.

        What I read was that the "one-in-all-in" rule was mentioned in explanatory notes and by politicians but there's actually no evidence of it in the actual legislation so this might be a bit grey. Not sure how true this is, but might be worth checking out. I haven't actually gone through the legislation myself and the ATO have confirmed the rule themselves, but just thought it was strange that it wasn't explicitly mentioned in the legislation supposedly.

        • Only info I can find on the ATO's pages

          "Employers are not meant to pick and choose between their eligible employees."

        • The legislation is here

          It is drafted terribly. Essentially the onus is on the employer to notify all employees.

          Essentially, my review of the legislation is the employer must notify employees. Employees must consent to participation and confirm they are eligible. It's essentially passing the buck back and forward and can easily lead to a stallmate between an employer and an employee if one side or the other drags their heels.

        • Yes that's right. It is not specifically listed in the legislation but the ATO have confirmed this.

        • Just been clarified by the minister as well, looks like they may update the legislation as well to make it clearer:

          ‘One in, all in’ principle: Once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by the employer, the employer must ensure that all of these eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme. This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme. As noted in the explanatory statement to the existing rules, this ‘one in, all in’ principle is already a key feature of the scheme and will be made clearer in the rules.

      • How does the business benefit from selecting only a few employees? The business would otherwise get to pay reduced wages at the government's expense for all workers.

        • The way it works is that that minimum of $1500 per employee needs to be paid by the business to the employee first then it'll get reimbursed by the govt up to a month later.

          They may not have enough ready cash to make the payments for all their employees, especially if some of these employees weren't earning $1500 a fortnight before this crisis, so it wouldn't have been budgeted for in the expected wage bill during normal operating conditions let alone the lockdown situation we have going on now.

          So they still need to stump up the cash first, something that may not be easy to do in this climate

          • @Kenb0: But what about causal and part times that work 5hrs a week? Are they now Laos 1500 now?

            • @mun4: Yes, if the employer is eligible. Which is why it can be difficult for the business if they opt in to the scheme as they will now have to pay all their employees minimum of 1500 a fortnight regardless of how much they were on before.

            • @mun4: yes. Every eligible employee gets 1500 from Government to keep them on the books (regardless of hours worked) so that staff are not laid off and when things pick up, staff are ready to go as usual

  • So i have set up the mygovID app and linked my business, what do i do now? Accountant wants $275 to do it. Sole trader.

    • +9 votes

      Pay them

    • Follow the guides on the ATO website and save the cash as an option.

    • Did you confirm if you are eligible? If so, you can log in to the ATO online services via myGov (or the business portal).

      This has a good step by step guide on how to do it:

      As the person above said, if you have employees make sure you have paid them.

    • It is easy. You register as a sole trader, input bank details and you should be automatically approved. Then you just wait for the next step or payment to arrive which will be in early May I guess. I did it on the weekend.

      • Where do I do it though?

      • where is the part where you prove taht your income has falled by 30 percent and all that?
        i done all the above steps but i dont think thats it? there was talk about proving your income has fallen by 30 percent and comparing this month to last years month as evidence

        • The ATO will request that information later on - April figures have to be provided on 4th May. Also, there will be audits for years afterwards where people would have to repay the amounts if claimed incorrectly.

          • @MrHyde: but how do we provide it, how do we prepare it? is it a pre made template that we have to fill out or do we make our own from scratch. if its the second option how do we do it?
            and was i correct about comparing april 2020 to april 2019 to prove that your income has dropped by %30?

            • @striker5950: On 4th May, the ATO website ( will have another application form that we would need to submit. I am expecting that form is going to ask information about projected turnover and previous turnover for the month of April and I'm hoping it will also have a field or area for us to say what test we are choosing to use.

              On my accountant's advice, I have created a folder on my machine with a spreadsheet of our turnover from March 2019 to September 2019 as well as copies of all invoices and payment remittances. Then, we have another sheet showing forecasted revenue (by customer) for April 2020 to September 2020 and have documented our complete thinking on why we believe we are eligible.

              This evidence would be used if we are ever auditted in the next 10 years. It is best to document everything you have while things are still fresh in your memory. You never know when the ATO will come knocking asking for justification.

              • @MrHyde: i see, well projected turn over is a bit hard to guesstimate for abn holders who are self employed

                • @striker5950: At the end of the day, you need to make your own determination on whether you can guesstimate well enough to say you will be below 30% for the April - June quarter or whether you want to take the risk of going for it and then repaying the payments if it turns out you were not below 30%.

                  For the march - March test or the April to April test; that should be simpler as those are both pretty much historical now - so only need to project the one remaining week in April.

                • @striker5950: You only need to compare 1 month I.e. April to April. So on May 4 you will have all the figures you need

    • Fyi, as others have stated above, it took me all of 30min (less if I didn't have a slight kerfafulle with my ABN - diff rabbit-hole for another day :-)). You simply need to follow the steps to get yourself a myGovID (if you've not got one), connect that to RAM, and once authenticated, fill out form and hit submit. The form is half a dozen questions mostly with yes/no answers. The form itself is 2min to complete, very simple.

      FWIW, The way the form's setup, it only let's you submit for 1 month (2 fortnights). I suspect I'll need to log back in and re-submit for next month/s.

  • How did they come up with the name "JobKeeper Payment"?

    • Because you keep your job. Job Seeker… keeper and seeker.

      • +2 votes

        Okay, I'm starting to understand. Just one more question - how do you explain the second half of the name?

        • It's a payment for business to pass onto employees so they can keep their jobs. The idea being the alternative is to make everyone redundant and hire a new set of employees when they open back up.

          Idea being that we can minimise the economic impact by having everyone go back to the jobs they had before rather have millions unemployed with millions of job vacancies and trying to match the two up.

        • JobChaser and JobBeater was already taken.

      • Quidditch!

    • I've also heard it referred to as "dole hider" so that the official unemployment numbers stay lower.

  • Does a business have to keep all employees if they are accessing JobKeeper - i.e. can they keep on one employee under JobKeeper, but lay another off due to lack of work?

    • They dont need to keep all employees.

      If employees have been stood down (rather than being made redundant etc.) the employees can still be eligible for the payment.

    • Access to job keeper must be given to all employees if the employer enrolls in it. You can let the other employee stay home but must pass on the full payment to them. I think. :)

      • If you're making a worker redundant / dismissing a casual you don't have to give them JobKeeper. Also while various politicians have tried to say that it must be given to all employees, there's actually nothing in the legislation that requires it (you can dodge it by just not asking the employee for their consent), not all employees are eligible, and the employee has to provide consent.

        • there's actually nothing in the legislation that requires it


          Division 2 Section 6(4)](, Section 9(1) and (3)

          If an employer participates in the JobKeeper scheme and does not notify any individual, the the individual (employee) can serve a nomination notice that requires the employer to pay them.

    • They have to give it to all employees. If someone is made redundant (as in you pay them out and will never employ them again), they are no longer an employee and switch to JobSeeker.

      So yes, they can lay off employees and not pay them Job Keeper. The business can not keep claiming their Job Keeper payment though.


    Are temporary residents still excluded?

      1. there is no residency requirement if the employee is still employed.
      2. the resident definition is different than centerlink. Its just a resident for tax purposes.
      You are an eligible employee if you:
      are currently employed by the eligible employer (including if you were stood down or re-hired)

      were either
      an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991) – visit the Services Australia website and read residence descriptionsExternal Link for more details
      an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020



        Edit: Actually , I don't think that's correct. From the factsheet:

        Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holders of a permanent visa, and Special Category
        (Subclass 444) Visa holders as at 1 March 2020.

        So temporary residents wouldn't be included.

        • This is my understanding too. For completeness, I'd add that the Subclass 444 visa holders need to be residents in Australia for income tax purposes. This requirement does not apply if the visa is a protected Special Category Visa (essentially a grandfathered visa).

    • You will need to be either:
      - Australian citizen
      - Have of a permanent Visa
      - Holder of a Special Category (Subclass 444) visa AND an Australian TAX resident

  • -2 votes

    Did you travel to europe in march?

  • Do turnover have to be down 30% all months or just one month?

    • Also interested.

      For a sole trader, it isn’t necessarily consistent month to month.

    • Depends on the comparison period you have chosen.

      You can choose to compare the March 2020 period with March 2019. In this case only the month of March 2020 will need to be less than 30%. Once you meet this you do not need to meet this test for the future months.

      • Once you meet this you do not need to meet this test for the future months.

        Just wondering where this is from as from your earlier link

        It mentions

        Each month: reconfirm eligibility.

    • Just one month to qualify. Many sole traders (including myself) might have similar income for March 19/20, but April should show a decline over 30% so will be able to claim 5 months of JobKeeper.

      • If projected turnover in April is over 30% less than last year, then you already qualify from April onwards, so full 6 months of jobkeeper.

        • And that's total turnover including non GST income?

          • @impoze: I found an explanation on what I was looking for as the term "GST Turnover" was confusing me.


            What the Fiscal stimulus is GST turnover?
            Here’s where things get a touch tricky. While GST turnover is an established accounting metric, the ATO has made several modifications to ensure the JobKeeper scheme is fit for purpose.

            For example, for the purposes of JobKeeper, GST turnover or projected GST turnover (more on this below) is not calculated on a rolling annual basis, but on a monthly or quarterly basis depending on an applicant’s nominated period (explained above).

    • Just have to prove 1 month is down, and then you get the payment for 6 months, regardless.

      • You lose the payment if your turnover goes back up though as you need to provide your turnover each month.

        • Only have to prove it for 1 month and then it stays for 6 months. but even so, I can't see if improving anytime soon.

        • Once you're on jobkeeper, you'll keep getting payments until end of jobkeeper even if your turnover improves dramatically in any succeeding months. It's on the ATO website

  • I have a close friend who works for an airline (not Qantas or Virgin) and they've been stood down (still employed but not asked to work). The airline has a base locally and she works in their office.

    What assistance can she seek?

    • They can contact Centrelink and see if they are eligible for the Jobseeker payment.

      • They're having trouble getting through due to the high volume.

        I'll ask them to keep trying though.

        • Why can't she get JobKeeper?

        • visit myGov - there is a button "intent to claim"
          once you press it any benefits gained will be back dated to that date.

          eventually Centrelink will contact you. using information pre-filled from MyGov.
          personally i skipped this step. I went into Centrelink office about two weeks after not hearing from them.

          at office i was given a Customer Reference Number (CRN) and linking code to connect CL to myGov.
          i went home. used CRN and linking code to log in to CL site.
          on CL site you lodge a claim. took a couple of hours for myself. finding paperwork etc.
          completed claim is lodge and a estimated processing date is given. mine was 5 weeks away.

          turns out my claim was processed within about 2 hours. not 5 weeks.
          possibly because i was higher up in the queue due to earlier "intent to claim"

          once logged in to CL site i was able to see future payment dates and amounts.
          i also had two tasks to complete on the site.
          upload some extra financial paperwork.
          and report my income for the previous two weeks.