Jobkeeper wages judged by the FORTNIGHT – Are your employees eligible for BOTH of May’s Jobkeeper payments?

If you have enrolled and are eligible for Jobkeeper payments you would know that June 1st 2020 you can make your claim for your job keeper payments.

HOWEVER – unlike last month where you could do a make up pay for the whole month – you needed to have paid a gross of $1500 in each fortnight to obtain the full $3000 per employee job keeper grant.

If you did your make up pay at the end of the fortnight to bring the monthly total for a staff member to $3000 for May (and the first fortnight you didn’t pay them a gross of $1500) here is what happens:

  • You will only be eligibile for $1500 reimbursed on the fortnight where the employee grossed more than $1500 for that fortnight.  eg: if an employee earned $400 one fortnight and then nothing the next – you would need to pay $1100 topup in the first fortnight and then $1500 in the second fortnight to be able to obtain BOTH $1500 payments for that employee.  You cannot just do a single topup at the end from May onwards.
  • If you ‘topped up’ the employees for the month in a single large payment end of month mistakenly thinking it will ensure you get 2 x $1500 payments.
    • You will only be eligible for 1 x $1500 job keeper payment.
    • You do have the ability to ‘claw the over payment back’ from the employee. – But this concept of claw back is still being examined in law it appears.
    • It would be prudent to contact the ATO, your Tax agent or your BAS agent to see what can be done in regards to this.

But wait there is more:

The job keeper fortnights feel like they should belong to a calendar month but they actually do not.

It shouldn’t make any difference to you if you are paying regularly every week or fortnight – but it pays to be aware of the date ranges:

You can claim on the 1st of May job keeper payments associated with these periods:

27th April – 10th May (Fortnight 3)

11th May – 24th May (Fortnight 4)

You can claim on the 1st of June Job keeper payments associated with these periods:

25th May – 7th June (Fortnight 5)

8th June – 21st June (Fortnight 6)

Of course it doesn’t help that you could top up payments for April up until the 8th of May!