ACT Long Service Leave Authority

Close

JobKeeper Guidance

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone. In the ACT and elsewhere, the economic impact has been significant. To minimise that impact, the Commonwealth of Australia introduced the JobKeeper Payment scheme to assist employers and employees. This guide seeks to assist employers understand the interaction between the JobKeeper scheme and the ACT’s Portable Long Service Leave scheme, particularly in relation to forthcoming quarterly return obligations.

The guide has been prepared with reference to the Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Act 2009 (ACT) and Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 (Cth). It represents the ACT Long Service Leave Authority’s (the Authority) interpretation of these provisions and their interaction. It is not declarative of the law, and you should seek independent legal advice, if necessary.

The guide seeks to inform employers by reference to a number of common scenarios, and fictional examples.

All Employees Stood Down for the Entire Quarter

If an employer has stood down its workforce for the entirety of the reportable quarter, the employer is required to submit a nil return, because there are no employees performing relevant work in that quarter. This is the case regardless of whether or not the employer is in receipt of JobKeeper payments.

In such circumstances, no levy will be payable to the Authority.

Example: XYZ Constructions has 10 employees. Prior to the first day of the reportable quarter, all 10 were stood down. They remained stood down for the entire reportable quarter. XYZ Constructions is in receipt of JobKeeper, and each employee is being paid $1,500 per fortnight.

XYZ should file a nil quarterly return, and no levy will be payable.

Some Employees Stood Down; Other Employees Working Less Days

If some employees have worked five days or more during the reportable quarter, those employees should be included in the quarterly return. Their actual days worked, rather than their usual days worked, should form the basis for the return.

The reportable gross ordinary wages of these employees is the amount they are actually paid in relation to the performance of relevant work. If employees are being paid $1,500 per fortnight or more, on the basis of their hours of work and ordinary contractual entitlements, that full amount should be reported – regardless of whether or not the employer is receiving JobKeeper payments.

However, if an employee would ordinarily be paid less than $1,500 per fortnight, on the basis of their hours of work and contractual entitlements, but is being paid $1,500 per fortnight in satisfaction of the wage condition to enable the employer to receive JobKeeper, the additional amount should not be included in the gross ordinary wages. In such circumstances, the gross ordinary wages is solely the amount paid by the employer to the employee in relation to the performance of work, and not any additional amount reasonably attributable to the JobKeeper wage condition.

Stood-down employees should not be included in the quarterly return (regardless of whether or not they are being paid, pursuant to the JobKeeper scheme or otherwise).

In such circumstances, the levy payable to the Authority will be determined based on the actual gross ordinary wages of those employees who are performing relevant work. No levy will be payable for stood-down employees.

Example: XYZ Constructions has 10 employees. Prior to the first day of the reportable quarter, five employees are stood down and five have their days reduced to 3 days a week. These arrangements remain in place for the entire reportable quarter. XYZ Constructions is in receipt of JobKeeper, and each employee is being paid $1,500 per fortnight. For the five who are working 3 days a week, their gross ordinary wages are $1000 per fortnight, with the remaining $500 being a top-up to meet the JobKeeper wage condition.

XYZ Constructions needs to file a quarterly return with the five employees who remain working. The gross ordinary wages reported for these five employees should be $1000 per fortnight. In addition, for the construction scheme, the number of reported days should be the days in which the worker actually worked in the quarter.

Some Employees Working Usual Pattern; Other Employees Working Less Days

For employees working their usual work patterns, the employer should provide their gross ordinary wages and days as normal in their quarterly return. For employees working less days, the employer should provide the gross ordinary wages and the days for which the employee was preforming relevant work only in their quarterly return. The employer is not required to provide information for employees who work less than five days during the reportable quarter.

The reportable gross ordinary wages of employees is the amount they are actually paid in relation to the performance of relevant work. If employees are being paid $1,500 per fortnight or more, on the basis of their hours of work and ordinary contractual entitlements, that full amount should be reported – regardless of whether or not the employer is receiving JobKeeper payments.

However, if an employee would ordinarily be paid less than $1,500 per fortnight, on the basis of their hours of work and contractual entitlements, but is being paid $1,500 per fortnight in satisfaction of the wage condition to enable the employer to receive JobKeeper, the additional amount should not be included in the gross ordinary wages. In such circumstances, the gross ordinary wages is solely the amount paid by the employer to the employee in relation to the performance of work, and not any additional amount reasonably attributable to the JobKeeper wage condition.

In such circumstances, the levy payable to the Authority will be determined based on the actual gross ordinary wages of employees who are working.

Example: XYZ Constructions has 10 employees. Prior to the first day of the reportable quarter, five employees have their days reduced to 3 days a week. The other five employees continue with their usual work pattern. These arrangements remain in place for the entire reportable quarter. XYZ Constructions is in receipt of JobKeeper. All employees are paid pursuant to their contractual entitlements. For the five who are working 3 days a week, their gross ordinary wages are $1000 per fortnight, with the remaining $500 being a top-up to meet the JobKeeper wage condition. For the other employees, their gross ordinary wages are $1600 per fortnight.

XYZ Constructions needs to file a quarterly return, with all their employees. The gross ordinary wages reported for the employees working 3 days a week should be $1000 per fortnight, while the gross ordinary wages for the other employees should be $1600 per fortnight. In addition, for the construction scheme, the number of reported days for each employee should be the days in which the employee actually worked in the quarter. The levy payable will be determined according to the reportable gross ordinary wages for all 10 employees.

Employee Work Pattern Varies During the Reportable Quarter

If the work pattern of employees varies during the reportable quarter – for example an employee spends one month stood down and two months working less than their usual pattern, or one month working less than their usual pattern, and two months working their usual pattern – the required employee information included in the quarterly return should reflect the actual, cumulative amount worked (and gross ordinary wages paid).

For the duration an employee is stood down, they do not accrue any reportable wages or days (regardless of whether or not they are receiving any payments, whether pursuant to the JobKeeper scheme or otherwise).

The reportable gross ordinary wages of employees is the amount they are actually paid in relation to the performance of work. If employees are being paid $1,500 per fortnight or more, on the basis of their hours of work and ordinary contractual entitlements, that full amount should be reported – regardless of whether or not the employer is receiving JobKeeper payments.

However, if an employee would ordinarily be paid less than $1,500 per fortnight, on the basis of their hours of work and contractual entitlements, but is being paid $1,500 per fortnight in satisfaction of the wage condition to enable the employer to receive JobKeeper, the additional amount should not be included in the gross ordinary wages. In such circumstances, the gross ordinary wages is solely the amount paid by the employer to the employee in relation to the performance of work, and not any additional amount reasonably attributable to the JobKeeper wage condition.

In such circumstances, the levy payable to the Authority will be determined based on the actual gross ordinary wages of employees who are working.

Example: ABC Security has 10 employees. Prior to the first day of the reportable quarter, five employees are stood down and five have their days reduced to 3 days a week. At the beginning of the second month of the reportable quarter, the five stood down employees return to work, on the basis of 3 days a week. The five employees who were working 3 days a week return to their usual work pattern. These updated arrangements remain in place for the remainder of the reportable quarter. ABC Security is in receipt of JobKeeper payments. All employees are paid in accordance with their contractual entitlements. In all cases, this is more than $1,500 per fortnight.

ABC Security needs to file a quarterly return, with all their employees. For the five employees stood down for the first month, that first month will not be included in the quarterly return. The gross ordinary wages for each of the 10 employees will be the actual amount paid for performing relevant work. Payments made to the five employees stood down for the first month are not included in the gross ordinary wages for those employees. The levy payable will be determined according to the reportable gross ordinary wages for all 10 employees.