The JobKeeper package recently announced by the Government provides financial support to organisations to assist with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and will run from 30 March to 27 September 2020 (thirteen fortnights).
We have now determined that the Diocese will be able to participate in the JobKeeper scheme as an eligible employer. As an eligible employer, we will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for the duration of the package. Eligible Diocesan employees are employees who:
- are currently employed by the Diocese (including those stood down or re-hired);
- were employed by the Diocese at 1 March 2020;
- are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular and systemic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
- are a permanent employee of the Diocese, or if a long-term casual employee, not a permanent employee of any other employer;
- are at least 16 years of age at 1 March 2020;
- are an Australian Citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder at 1 March 2020;
- were a resident for Australian tax purposes on 1 March 2020; and
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
Diocesan employees will receive this payment as follows:
- If an employee receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their existing arrangements.
- If an employee receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, the Diocese as the employer must pay a minimum $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
- If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
No superannuation guarantee payments are required to be paid on any additional payment made because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Please note that employees who presently earn more than $1500 per fortnight before tax and before any salary sacrifice arrangements will not receive an increase in pay, nor will they see a reduction.
So to be clear JobKeeper is an employer subsidy scheme under which employees will be paid at least $1,500 per fortnight.
These funds will be used to offset any reduction of diocesan/parish income that would otherwise be used to contribute towards salaries/stipends.
Synod Office is working to identify eligible employees and ensure that the requirements of the package are met, including topping up previous payments to the minimum required.
It is critical that we identify and confirm the participation of eligible employees before the end of April so that we can ensure everyone who is eligible will receive the benefit.
As part of the application process, every eligible employee must accept a nomination for payment. An email has been sent to all employees on our payroll system, they must be returned electronically no later than 12.00 Friday 24 April 2020.
Further detail as to how the JobKeeper reimbursement will be made available to parishes will be provided in a later update.