COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENT
The Australian Government has introduced a support payment for eligible people who lost work and income due to an Australian Capital Territory COVID-19 public health order.
How does the “COVID-19 Disaster Payment” made to employees affect the information employers provide when submitting their employer quarterly return?
Provided employees are actually performing relevant work covered by the portable schemes’ legislation at any stage during the quarterly reporting period, then the levy contribution is still based on the actual “ordinary remuneration” paid by the employer to the employee during that time. For any period of time where an employee is not performing relevant work and therefore no “ordinary remuneration” is paid, no levy is payable for that period. Employees accessing paid leave from their employer (such as recreation or personal leave) are considered to be performing relevant work.
What if an employee is under a stand down direction as a result of a declared period of Lockdown (either partially or for all of their usual work hours)?
In the instance where an employee is under a stand down direction as a result of a declared period of Lockdown for all of their usual hours during the quarterly return period, then as they have not earned any “ordinary remuneration” directly from their employer, no levy contribution is due. However an employer is still required to submit their employer quarterly return by the applicable due date, even if there is no service for any workers to report (i.e. a “nil return”), to ensure the employer complies with their legislative obligations as an employer.
In the instance where an employee is under a stand down direction as a result of a declared period of Lockdown for only part of their usual work hours, then the levy contribution is based on the “ordinary remuneration” paid directly by the employer to the employee only for the reduced hours worked during the quarterly return period.