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Six million workers to be supported by $130B JobKeeper wage subsidy

A $130 billion wage subsidy, called JobKeeper, will provide a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight for around six million workers through their employers to keep people in jobs.

A $130 billion wage subsidy, called JobKeeper, will provide a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight for around six million workers through their employers to keep people in jobs.

The JobKeeper payment will be open to eligible businesses that received a significant financial hit caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The payment will ensure eligible employers and employees stay connected while some businesses move into hibernation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it would 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.

“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,” Morrison said.

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“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.”

The 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 $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Every eligible employee must receive at least $1500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.

The first payments are expected 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.

Employers with annual turnover of less than $1 billion who self-assess a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more, since 1 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period are elligible for the payment.

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.

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.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the country was about to go through one of the toughest times in its history.

“That is why we are delivering an historic $130 billion JobKeeper payment to support businesses and to help Australians in a job,” Frydenberg said.

“This will keep Australian workers connected with their employer and provide hope and more certainty during these difficult and challenging times.”

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