Welcome to Issue #2 of Workforce Wisdom.

This week, we’re answering all your JobKeeper related questions with help from law firm Source Legal.

Sean Melbourne is head of the firm’s employment law practice and provides all the answers to the questions below:

Your questions (and answers)


Super on JobKeeper?

If someone ordinarily earns more than $750, and you are paying them the full amount, do we pay super on the $750 JobKeeper amount?

If an employee is being paid more than $1,500 per fortnight super contributions need to be made as usual.

However, where the employee is having their wages topped up to $1,500 per fortnight by the JobKeeper payment, it is up to the employer whether to pay super on the topped up wages.

Adding the JobKeeper payment

If staff are working now and earn $1500 per week how do you add the JobKeeper payment?

You don’t have to add the pay item to their wages. It is a subsidy paid to the employer which the employer can keep and continue paying the employee $1,500 per fortnight.

No cash flow for JobKeeper

What if you don’t have the cash flow to pay the JobKeeper amount before the funds are made available in May?

Unfortunately, there have been no measures put in place to help employers in this situation. The government has been recommending that employers speak to their bank about a small business loan.

Clarity for casual on-hire

Sean, could you please clarify definition of casual for on-hire (Labour Hire) in terms of eligibility?

To be eligible, casual employees need to have been employed by the employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months.

For labour hire companies, this means they need to have been employed by the labour hire company on a regular and systematic basis for 12 months. It’s okay if they have been performing assignments for different clients, because they still will have been employed by the labour hire company all of that time.

Clarity for casual on-hire

Sean, could you please clarify definition of casual for on-hire (Labour Hire) in terms of eligibility?

To be eligible, casual employees need to have been employed by the employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months.

For labour hire companies, this means they need to have been employed by the labour hire company on a regular and systematic basis for 12 months. It’s okay if they have been performing assignments for different clients, because they still will have been employed by the labour hire company all of that time.

Reduced working hours

If our casual employees qualify and receive JobKeeper payments but when we return to full operations, our customer foot traffic is significantly decreased, what happens if we can only provide reduced working hours to our casuals?

It would be okay to reduce the hours that your casual employees work at that point.

JobKeeper reimbursement

If we are able to pay staff weekly, will the ATO reimburse weekly or on fortnightly basis? Do you know at this stage how frequently the ATO will be reimbursing employers – once a month, fortnightly, weekly?

The ATO will reimburse employers monthly in arrears.

Annual leave payments

Can these payments offset annual leave payments?

Yes, they can.

Bridging visas

Are bridging visas included in the eligibility?

Only employees who are Australian citizens, or a holder of a permanent visa, protected special category visa, a non-protected special category visa who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a New Zealand citizen on a special category visa. (subclass 444) visa will qualify for the JobKeeper scheme.

Annual leave and payments

What if an employee asks to take annual leave? Is this amount taken as total earnings for the $1500?

Yes, payments made to employees while they are taking annual leave are taken as earnings.

Back paying JobKeeper

What about back paying JobKeeper?

Unfortunately, this is not allowed – employers have to pay employees as usual and be reimbursed by the ATO monthly in arrears for theJobKeeper payments.

*Please remember Sean’s advice is general in nature

That’s a wrap


If you have any HR and payroll questions of your own, feel free to contact us.

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