Update: JobKeeper Scheme –changes to the Fair Work Act 2009

7 April 2020

Federal Parliament is likely to pass the $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy tomorrow in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic after the ACTU and the Labor Party indicated they would support the changes.

While the full details of the legislative changes are yet to be released, the Government has recently revised its guidelines in respect of the Scheme (available here:

In summary, the guidelines provide:

  • The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by COVID-19;
  • The Government will provide $1,500 (gross) per fortnight, per employee for up to six (6) months;
  • To be eligible, employers (including not-for-profits), must at the time of applying:
    • Have an annual turnover of less that $1 billion which is estimated to have fallen or likely to fall by 30 percent or more;
    • Have an annual turnover of more than $1 billion which is estimated to have fallen or likely to fall by 50 percent or more;
    • Not be subject to the Major Bank Levy.
  • Where employers participate in the JobKeeper scheme, employees (full time, part-time, long term casuals) will receive the following:
    • If the employee receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income, with the $1,500 aiming to assist the employer to meet the employee’s ordinary wages.
    • If an employee would usually receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, the employer must pay the employee the full $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
    • If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight before tax.

Superannuation guarantee payments are not required to be paid on any additional payment made because of the JobKeeper payment.

The Scheme started on 30 March 2020, with first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May.

Employers can register their interest in participating in the Scheme here:

EMA Legal will continue to provide updates as further information is released.

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This Newsletter is made available to our clients and interested parties to provide immediate access to information about important changes and developments relevant to employers. The information contained in this publication should not be relied on as legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for detailed advice that takes into account particular situations and the particular circumstances of your business.