The Australian Taxation Office is extending the time available for businesses to pay their employees, and still be able to claim back the first JobKeeper payments.
Businesses suffering from a significant reduction in turnover due to COVID-19 will now have until 8 May 2020 to ensure all eligible employees have received a minimum of $3,000 in gross wages for the first two fortnights of the JobKeeper support period.
Last week, to ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment, the Government clarified the operation of payment rules.
This extension allows businesses further time to consider their circumstances and remove any cashflow pressures arising from financing arrangements that have not been finalised.
This means more businesses will be able to pay staff and still be eligible for JobKeeper payments, keeping more Australians connected to their workplace.
Importantly, this extension does not negate the obligation on businesses to ensure they continue to pay eligible employees $1,500 in each JobKeeper fortnight.
Around 900,000 businesses expressed interest in the JobKeeper scheme prior to enrolment.
Enrolments opened at the start of last week and so far more than 500,000 businesses have enrolled covering more than 3 million employees.
Businesses have until 31 May 2020 to formally enrol to claim JobKeeper payments. However, the sooner an employer pays their staff for April and enrols, the sooner the ATO can reimburse them the JobKeeper payments.