NOTE: Changes to the grant have occurred since this article was written
For those businesses who are in lockdown and experiencing a significant amount of stress and anxiety, there is cause to have hope, because JobSaver applications open from 26 July 2021 and close on 18 October 2021.
While the name suggests the payment is centered around retaining employees by providing payroll relief. The funds received from ServiceNSW can be used to cover costs that are not necessarily salary and wages.
Similar to JobKeeper, the JobSaver payment is designed to keep people employees connected to their employers by providing them with a payment of up to 40% of their weekly payroll for work performed in NSW. At a high level:
- The minimum payment will be $1,500 per week
- The maximum payment will be $10,000 per week
While the name may suggest that this payment is only available to employers. Non-employing businesses, like sole traders and partnerships are in fact entitled to receive this payment of up to $1,000 per week.
The payment is due to take effect from 18 July 2021 onwards, although the turnover test period starts from 26 June 2021. Payment will be made in arrears with the first payment backdated to 18 July 2021. The turnover test period is currently a contentious point as the online application displays a turnover period of between 26 June – 14 August, however the letter states 26 June – 30/07. Once approved the payment will automatically be made fortnightly.
The eligibility criteria include:
- An Australian Business Number (ABN) and operating in New South Wales on 1 June 2021;
- A National aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020;
- Experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26 June and due to end 30 July 2021), compared to the same period in 2019;
- For employing businesses, they maintain their employee headcount on 13 July 2021 while they continue to receive JobSaver payments (businesses that do not maintain the declared headcount must notify Service NSW); and
- For non-employing businesses, the business receiving payments must be the primary income source for the associated person. Individuals with more than one non-employing business may only claim payments for one business.
Your employees can receive the Centrelink COVID-19 Disaster Payment while you as their employer are receiving JobSaver. Unless you’re a non-employing business then you are unable to apply for the JobSaver payment if you’re receiving the Centrelink COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
It’s also good to know that if you’ve already applied and are eligible for the COVID-19 Business Grant of between $7,500 – $15,000 you are automatically eligible for JobSaver, but you will likely need to provide additional information around your employee headcount and payroll.
The JobSaver will be especially important for those businesses that weren’t adversely impacted during the initial weeks of lockdown, but have suffered with the construction industry lockdown and the lockdown to movement outside of a Local Government Area (“LGA”).
The evidence to support the eligibility has not changed dramatically from the COVID-19 Business Grant. With the key difference being the requirement to provide a BAS, which will be required to be submitted to prove your weekly payroll. The calculation is based on looking at the payroll number declared in W1 of a BAS lodged prior to 26 June 2021 and dividing it by the number of days in the quarter and multiplying by 7 (you could also take the W1 number reported in your BAS and divide by 13 weeks in the quarter).
Sadly, we’re still in the dark about any alternate tests for situations outside the standard that ServiceNSW have provided, including:
- businesses not operating for the full year to 30 June 2020 (e.g. new businesses)
- businesses affected by drought, bushfires or other natural disasters
- business acquisition, disposal, or business restructure that has impacted the business’ turnover
- a sole trader or small partnership impacted by sickness, injury or leave.
For more information on the JobSaver payment and the details, the links have been embedded throughout.
If you’d like to discuss your situation with us, please do not hesitate to reach out.