HVIA commends Parliament to support $130 billion JobKeeper Payment

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has given its strong support for a historic $130 billion wage subsidy to help employers keep around 6 million workers in jobs announced by the Australian Government yesterday.

If passed through Parliament, the JobKeeper Payment will consist of a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight paid through the employer, before tax.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the payment will ensure eligible employers and employees stay connected while some businesses move into hibernation. 

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

“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.

“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.”

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking urged all sides of the Parliament to come together today to give certainty that the package will be passed without amendment.

“The battle against this dreadful disease and its impact on the lives of every Australian, must come ahead of any party politics,” Mr Hacking said.

“We implore that when Parliament is reconvened, the package is ushered through with the same bi-partisanship that has allowed earlier stimulus measures to be legislated.

“The JobKeeper Payment is a game-changer for all industry, with potential to remove a great degree of fear and anxiety over the future for businesses and their employees.”

The Government has said it will provide updates on further business cashflow support in coming days. 

JobKeeper Payment

The proposed JobKeeper 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.

  • Employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee.
  • Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from the business, before tax.
  • The program commenced yesterday, 30 March 2020,
  • The first payments to be received by eligible businesses in the first week of May as monthly arrears from the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Eligible businesses can begin distributing the JobKeeper payment immediately and will be reimbursed from the first week of May. 

Eligible employers

  • Annual turnover of less than $1 billion*
  • Who self-assess that have a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent 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 per cent or more to be eligible. Businesses subject to the Major Bank Levy will not be eligible. 

Eligible employers include businesses structured through:

  • companies,
  • partnerships,
  • trusts and
  • sole traders.
  • Not for profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible.

Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment. 

Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.  An employee will only be eligible to receive this payment from one employer. 

Eligible employees include Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other). 

Self-employed individuals are also eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.

Apply for the payment

Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via ato.gov.au 

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. The Government has temporarily relaxed 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, around $79,762 per annum. 

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

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