Updated: Thursday 20 August
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has confirmed with Yahoo Finance that the new deadline for employers to nominate newly eligible workers for the JobKeeper scheme is now Monday 24 August, not Friday 21 August.
The legislative commencement date for the new JobKeeper rules was 15 August, and employers have seven days from then to provide workers with their nomination notice.
“While the deadline ... is Saturday 22 August 2020, as this falls on a weekend, the employee nomination deadline will be Monday 24 August,” an ATO spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.
However, some leeway will be afforded to business owners scrambling to adjust to the new rules.
“The ATO understands this is a difficult time for businesses, and as a result, we are being as flexible as possible for employers regarding this requirement,” the spokesperson added.
“Our web guidance advises employers that if they haven't provided all relevant employees with an employee nomination notice within the required time, they need to do this as soon as possible.”
For business owners: For more information about nominating employees, visit the ATO website for guidance information.
For employees: If you think you fit the new criteria to be eligible for JobKeeper, visit here.
Wednesday 19 August
Australian businesses have been urged to check and update their employees’ eligibility for JobKeeper payments ahead of a new Friday deadline.
The Federal Government has made changes to the original JobKeeper scheme which now allow for more Australians to qualify for the payments, but businesses will need to ensure no new hires have been left out or risk losing the payments altogether.
Previously, only workers who were hired before 1 March 2020 were deemed eligible for JobKeeper.
Now, employees hired after 1 March and by 1 July, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be eligible for the $1,500 fortnightly wage subsidies.
Employees can only be nominated by one employer at any given time.
New JobKeeper deadline
However, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has warned that employers will need to act fast to include the new workers.
“Before Friday 21 August 2020 employers must urgently revisit their employee’s eligibility for JobKeeper 1.0 to ensure your business stays eligible under the one-in-all-in rule and to maximise your JobKeeper entitlements,” said a post on the ARA website.
And failure to identify any potential employee newly eligible for the scheme could result in consequences for the offending business, the association warned.
“A JobKeeper employer who does not identify newly eligible employees, provide them with a nomination notice by 21 August 2020 and make any necessary ‘top up’ payments by 31 August 2020, will be in breach of the JobKeeper rules and may face penalties.”
ATO deputy commissioner James O’Halloran said enrolments were still open for businesses to apply for JobKeeper.
“We encourage all businesses to review the eligibility criteria and if eligible, enrol in the program to start receiving JobKeeper payments,” he said.
“Employers already receiving JobKeeper are encouraged to review the new eligibility criteria against all employees and updated guidance is now available on our website.”
Newly eligible employees will have to be paid at least $1,500 per fortnight from 3 August.
Businesses can claim JobKeeper for new employees from 1 September when they lodge their monthly claim for August.
This story was first published on Wednesday 19 August and was updated on Thursday 20 August.
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