Oct 2, 2021

Beware of extra JobSaver eligibility condition

The JobSaver payment was introduced as a means to provide cash flow support for NSW businesses impacted by the 2021 COVID-19 lockdown. Employing businesses that have an aggregated turnover of between $75,000 and $250m and have experienced a decline of 30% or more over a minimum 2-week period may be able to receive a payment equivalent to 40% of their weekly payroll for work performed in NSW. This is on the proviso that the employee headcount is maintained.

The headcount is not affected if an employee voluntarily resigns/retires, passes away, concludes a mutually agreed employment contract period, or is dismissed for misconduct such as theft, harassment, bullying, etc.  An employee that is stood down but not dismissed or made redundant remains a part of the headcount. However, any employee made redundant will not be a part of the headcount and the business will be considered to have failed an eligibility requirement and be ineligible for JobSaver payment going forward.

Businesses may be eligible to receive a minimum of $1,500 per week and maximum payment of $100,000 per week. Non-employing businesses such as sole traders can also receive the JobSaver payment but at a reduced rate of $1,000 per week. The payment program will also be open to registered charities in the animal welfare and social services sectors with a decline in turnover of between 15% and 30% from late September 2021. Certain businesses such as those earning passive income (ie rents, interest or dividends) that accounts for more than 50% of the business’ income will not ordinarily be eligible for the JobSaver. However, where the business is actively providing services that relate to the passive income, there may be scope to claim the JobSaver based on your individual circumstances, although you should contact ServiceNSW to confirm.

With restrictions gradually lifting, the NSW government now requires businesses to reconfirm their eligibility every fortnight for the duration of the program. While payments in September will continue regardless of whether eligibility is confirmed, payments after that date will only be processed once eligibility reconfirmation occurs. If your accounting system necessitates monthly confirmations, you are able to reconfirm eligibility for multiple fortnights in one go. Payments should be received within 5 business days of this reconfirmation and the NSW government business portal (MyService NSW Business Profile) will indicate which fortnights’ reconfirmations are still outstanding.

The first reconfirmation period is for the period 13 September 2021 to 26 September 2021 and will determine the payment of JobSaver for the sixth and subsequent fortnightly JobSaver payments.

While you do not need to provide any additional evidence or attach any documentation when reconfirming your business’ eligibility, you will need to maintain adequate records to show evidence of eligibility if required at a later date. As the restrictions may sometimes change daily or weekly based on the LGA of your business, you may be eligible for JobSaver one fortnight and not the next, or vice versa. Becoming ineligible for the payment one fortnight does not disqualify your business from becoming eligible again in a future fortnight provided you meet the eligibility conditions. No reapplication is needed in those circumstances.

Speak to one of our accountants today if you have any questions or need assistance with any of the JobSaver changes.