With legislative changes to the JobKeeper employment reference date to 1 July now registered, and applying retrospectively from 3 August, employers will now need to identify new eligible employees under the “one in, all in” principle.
The amended JobKeeper rules stipulate that the nomination notice will need to be provided to employees within seven days of the commencement of the legislative instrument, affording employers until 22 August to do so.
However, because this date falls on a Saturday, the law provides that it may be done on the next working day — in this case, 24 August, a Monday.
Separately, the ATO will provide employers until 31 August to meet the wage condition for all new eligible employees under the 1 July eligibility test.
The Institute of Public Accountants general manager of technical policy, Tony Greco, said the onus was now on employers to ensure all employees now eligible under the 1 July test were included under JobKeeper, or be exposed to significant penalties under the Fair Work Act.
“What most employers are not aware is that under the one in, all in rule, they need to include these new eligible employees into their JobKeeper scheme; otherwise, they could be liable to hefty penalties,” Mr Greco told Accountants Daily.
“You don’t have a choice; the one in, all in rule compels all employers to retest and you have to do it by Monday.”
The new 1 July eligibility test is set to capture a number of new employees, including those hired after 1 March, and those who previously did not meet the definition of a long-term casual employee by 1 March but have since become long-term casual employees by 1 July.
It will also cover employees who did not qualify on 1 March due to their age or visa status but have since become 16 to 18 years of age and meet the independence criteria and study or have obtained the necessary visa.
“This potentially brings in a new cohort of eligible employees into JobKeeper,” Mr Greco said.
“A lot of employers will be saying this is hard work and there is nothing in it for me, particularly if those employees are stood down, but the issue is that if you don’t continue to pay that $1,500, your employee can actually cause you a lot of grief down the track.
“You’ve just got to move fast now, not by choice but by obligation created under the scheme.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.