JobKeepers Wages Subsidy: What to do once you are eligible

At this time, many employers will be working on their Business and Employee eligibility for the JobKeepers Wage Subsidy.

The following may assist with how it will work once you are eligible.

Besides the Employer and Employee qualification, there are a few more things to know:

  • Employers must pay the JobKeepers in advance, the ATO will reimburse eligible employers fortnightly;
  • If seeking the Subsidy for the first 2 fortnights after 30th March, they must be paid by 26th April. You will be reimbursed by the ATO in the first week in May;
  • Businesses with tight cash flow may need to get a loan to assist in prepaying the subsidy to eligible employees – discuss your options with your Accountant.
  • Eligible businesses can opt-in or out at any time up until the JobKeepers Subsidy finishes on 27th September 2020.
  • The JobKeeper wage subsidy and flexibilities are only temporary and will expire on 28th September 2020.
  • Once qualified for the subsidy, the employer is not re-assessed.
  • The employer must report monthly income to the ATO whilst on the subsidy.
  • Hourly rate pay guarantee – if working employees, they are to be paid their usual hourly rate of pay.
  • $1500 per fortnight is a pre-tax amount.
  • Employers must consult and communicate with their employees and keep records of such discussions.


JobKeeper Flexibilities for Eligible Employers include:

  • Flexibility – Ability to direct JobKeeper employees to change number of work hours per week/ fortnight, days of the week worked, location of work, and employees can be asked to perform different duties to their usual.
  • Stand Downs – JobKeeper employees can be stood down either fully or partially. This means you can ask employees not to work, or work employees only $1500 worth of their usual wages, or work them up to their full usual hours (paying for hours worked subsidised by the $1500 JobKeeper payment), or a combination of these.
  • Annual Leave – the employer can request any JobKeeper employee to take annual leave – but retain a 2-week minimum balance. If the employee is willing/volunteers more leave can be taken.
  • Directions to work flexible terms – the employer must firstly consult with the JobKeeper employees and provide a minimum of 3 days’ notice of changes. Flexibilities can start sooner if the employee is genuinely willing.
  • Safety – any changes to work must ensure employee safety, the employee is qualified or holds licenses (if applicable), competency, consider any personal factors like carer responsibilities and must not be discriminatory.


The object of these changes is to provide temporary support to entities directly or indirectly affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

** Please note as this is new law, details are constantly evolving. Please always check with the ATO.

If you would like assistance with navigating these temporary JobKeeper conditions, like considering the business’s options, scripting discussions with the team, or a letter to employees outlining temporary changes, please call Hellen Ryan, Principal Consultant, phone: 0429 410 991 or

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