JobKeeper legislation is law, so what now for your payroll?

Updated: Jun 1


The Jobkeeper legislation was passed by Parliament on Wednesday 8 April 2020 and received Royal Assent on Thursday 9 April 2020. The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 Legislation (F2020L00419) is available here.


A meeting was convened by the ATO's Digital Partnership Office (DPO) late on Thursday 09/04 afternoon to provide guidance to Digital Service Providers (DSP) regarding the Single Touch Payroll (STP) JobKeeper reporting requirements designed by the ATO. The following is a summary of that guidance.


There is a four-stage process to enable Employers to receive the JobKeeper subsidy reimbursement for eligible employees using Payroll software to report up to three (3) Other Type Allowances with unique descriptions,

  1. JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx

  2. JOBKEEPER-TOPUP and

  3. JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FNxx

Any variations from these exact descriptions, required to be in CAPS, may significantly delay or even prevent the JobKeeper subsidy reimbursement (which is paid monthly in arrears).

STAGE 1 - EMPLOYER ENROLMENT

The detailed Employer Enrolment process information is now available here. This step enables eligible employers to advise the ATO of their voluntary participation in the program providing evidence of their eligibility, the expected number of eligible employees, along with contact and bank details.


All eligible employees must also be notified of their nomination using the JobKeeper employee nomination notice. To ensure the reimbursement of JobKeeper payments as early possible, the enrollment process is required to be completed by the end of April. However, enrolments are still open until the end of May providing additional time.


If enrollment is completed by 31 May, claims can be made for the fortnights ending in April and May provided all the eligibility requirements are met for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid the employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight. For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April and 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid even if it is late, provided it is completed by 8 May. If the employees are not paid by this date, no JobKeeper claim can be made for the first two fortnights.

STAGE 2 - NOTIFICATION

Employers are required to notify the ATO of all eligible employees via Single Touch Payroll (STP) by using a new Other Allowance Item for the JobKeeper Start Fortnight, JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx, where 'xx' is a number that indicates the fortnightly period, e.g. 01, is the period 30/03/2020 to 12/04/2020, 02 from 13/04/2020 to 26/04/2020 and so on, with the last period being, 13 from 14/09/2020 to 27 September 2020. This specific Other Allowance Item also advises the ATO from which fortnight the JobKeeper started. The JobKeeper Start Fortnight may be reported once or continue to be reported in subsequent Pay Events, but must not be forward-dated.


Another new Other Allowance Item, JOBKEEPER-TOPUP is used to report any additional payment made by the employer, to top up the employee's taxable gross pay to the required $1500 per fortnight. If the employee earns more than $1500 for the fortnight, there is no need to report a TOPUP payment.


When reporting JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx, payments that contribute to the employees taxable gross must be included, but JOBKEEPER-TOPUP does not have to be reported if it is not applicable. JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx must not be the only item reported.

If an eligible employee who has been paid and reported, becomes ineligible, then another Other Allowance Item, JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FNxx must be reported to advise the ATO of the ineligibility and the last fortnight the employee was eligible. The JobKeeper Finish Fortnight may also be reported once or continue to be reported in subsequent Pay Events.

Notification of the employee's ineligibility to continue receiving the JobKeeper Payment may be due to one of the following reasons,

  • Absence due to Workers’ compensation,

  • Cessation of employment,

  • Change of citizenship, visa, or personal circumstances.

There is no requirement to provide the JobKeeper Finish Fortnight once the JobKeeper Scheme has expired on the 27 September 2020. JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FNxx is only required if the employee meets one of the above conditions.


Both the JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx and JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FNxx are to be reported with zero values, $0.00. If the Payroll Solution you are using is unable to report using zero values, then a nominal amount of 1 cent may be used, e.g. $0.01

STAGE 3 - DECLARATION

This is an online-only process using the ATO Business Portal here. All eligible employees that have been reported using STP will be displayed in the portal that the employer uses for the monthly JobKeeper declaration process to claim the JobKeeper subsidy reimbursement. The declaration process is completed after the last day of the last full JobKeeper fortnight in the calendar month. The business income for the previous month and the current months estimated revenue is also required and must be manually entered.


STAGE 4 - REIMBURSEMENT

The JobKeeper subsidy reimbursement is triggered by the successful completion of the declaration. As the reimbursement is in arrears, the Employer will receive the funds into their nominated Bank Account in the month following the employee's payments based on the information reported via STP, Fortnight Start, Fortnight Finish and Top-Up's.


Any variations to the correct formatting of the Other Type Allowances provided in the ATO guidance may significantly delay or even prevent the JobKeeper subsidy reimbursement.

The information provided here is a top-level view only. The ATO has provided a comprehensive Fact Sheet which contains the specific detail required for DSP's developing payroll solutions. Each DSP will provide their own guidance to use with their individual payroll offerings.


Information resources,

  • If you are using e-PayDay®, JobKeeper reporting guidance is provided here.

  • For further JobKeeper Payment information please refer to the Australian Taxation Office official page here.

  • For the latest information and Fact Sheets from The Treasury, please check here.


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