JobKeeper and your employer

The IEU is aware of a number of schools asking members to sign the ATO form nominating themselves as an “eligible employee” for JobKeeper entitlements, that is, JobKeeper nomination form. Members have rightly contacted the IEU, asking whether they should sign this form.

By signing a JobKeeper nomination form and agreeing to be nominated, an employee becomes included in recent provisions inserted into the Fair Work Act. These provisions are detailed in the article below.

If you are approached to sign a JobKeeper nomination form, please let your IEU organiser know so we can provide you with the appropriate advice.

As matters develop, and when the IEU is kept informed, IEU organisers will be attempting to contact the relevant schools and centres to determine eligibility and begin preliminary discussions as to whether the employer would be prepared to give or indicate an undertaking regarding stand downs, reduced hours, or any other changes to working arrangements and entitlements.

Unfortunately, not all employers choose to inform the IEU of their intention to apply for JobKeeper or enact other changes to their employees’ arrangements. Again, if you or your colleagues are asked to sign a JobKeeper nomination form, we strongly recommend you notify the IEU as soon as possible, so we can provide you with the best assistance and advice.

Facts about JobKeeper

  • The JobKeeper allowance is a wage subsidy not a wage replacement. It will be made to the employer through the ATO from 1 May and is able to be backdated to 30 March 2020. Payments relating to April must be made to employees before the end of April – that is, before the employer has started receiving payment from the ATO.
  • Most employers must show a 30% drop in revenue to be eligible. Most schools will not suffer that level of loss of revenue.
  • The JobKeeper payment is a flat payment of $1500 per fortnight, regardless of your previous income;
    -If you normally earn less than $1500, you will get $1500 and the employer should not ask you to work more hours than you normally do.
    -If you normally earn more than $1500 per fortnight, the JobKeeper payment will make up the first $1500 of your fortnightly pay. That is, you should still get the same value for the hours that you work.
  • Full-time and part time workers are entitled to receive this payment if they were employed as of 1 March 2020.
  • If you are a casual employee, you must have been employed regularly and systematically for longer than 12 months by the same business to be eligible for the payment.
  • Temporary Visa holders, except New Zealanders, are excluded from accessing the JobKeeper scheme.
  • If you have been stood down since 1 March, you will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment.
  • You must remain an employee of the business to receive this payment and may not receive more than one payment at a time – if you work at two different jobs you cannot receive JobKeeper payment from both employers and must nominate your ‘primary employer’ to receive the payment. You cannot receive both JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
  • The JobKeeper payment is taxable income.
  • Superannuation rules apply differently depending upon if you’re continuing to work or not:
    -Stood down without pay and receiving JobKeeper – you are paid the JobKeeper wage subsidy of $1500 per fortnight and can speak to your employer about contributing some of this payment into your superannuation.
    -Still working at the business – you are required to receive superannuation paid on the salary you might otherwise have received, as normal.
  • If you normally earn more than $1500 per fortnight – you are entitled to your original wage and superannuation payments on top of that wage.
  • If you normally earn less than $1500 per fortnight – you are entitled to your original wage and superannuation payments based on that wage but should receive $1500 per fortnight as a minimum. The portion of that $1500 which is above that which you would normally have received for your work that fortnight will not attract additional superannuation payments, although you can speak to your employer about contributing some of the payment into your superannuation.
  • If your employer qualifies for JobKeeper payments for you, they gain certain new powers under the Fair Work Act.