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COVID-19 – Workers Compensation and JobKeeper
Workers who have been fortunate enough to continue working in their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic face the risk of contracting COVID-19 during their employment. Should this occur to an employee of yours, you may be entitled to claim Workers Compensation for the affected employee under amended legislation.
Under a new section – section 19B – in the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), it is presumed that an affected employee’s ‘prescribed employment’ is the main and substantial contributing factor of any contraction of COVID-19. Thus, there is an automatic entitlement to compensation.
The definition of ‘prescribed employment’ is broad and allows for several industries including hospitality, retail, construction, aged care and health. Take the step to check your business’s eligibility to simplify the Workers Compensation claim process should the time come that your business needs it.
Insurance and Care NSW (icare)
When the wages your business pays are reduced in the current economic climate, report actual wages paid – regardless of whether an employee receives JobKeeper – and icare may refund any unused portion of your premium. Only work undertaken and/or hours worked are used to calculate your business’s icare premium. See table under JOBKEEPER.
Your business financial circumstances, during the COVID-19 pandemic, may be used to determine how to best help pay your employees’ wages. As a business owner, you may be eligible to access the JobKeeper Payment scheme, a temporary government subsidy, enabling businesses to pay their eligible employees $1,500 per fortnight.
Did you carry on a business in Australia and employ at least one person within the business on 1 March 2020? If yes, then your business is eligible if it meets the basic decline in turnover test.
Under the basic turnover test, a comparison is made between your business’s monthly or quarterly GST turnover compared with the same period 12 months prior.
A 30 per cent decline for businesses with a GST turnover of $1 billion or less is required to meet the test. Check your business’s eligibility using these five steps: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/In-detail/JobKeeper-tests/Applying-the-turnover-test/?page=2#Basic_test
Your employee/s is eligible to receive a JobKeeper payment if they:
- Are a current full-time, fixed part-time or long-term casual employee of your business;
- Were an employee of your business for at least 12 months at 1 March 2020;
- Were aged 18 years or older at 1 March 2020;
- Were an Australian citizen or resident at 1 March 2020; and
- Who agree to be nominated by your business.
- They were employed by your business after 1 March 2020;
- They had ceased to be employed by your business at 1 March 2020; or
- They were nominated by another employer.
From June 2020, you are required to complete a business monthly declaration to keep claiming JobKeeper payments. For each reported month, confirming your eligible employees, your GST turnover and projected GST turnover for the following month will be necessary for you to continue to receive JobKeeper. This information is used only to ascertain the effect the JobKeeper Payment scheme has on your business.
Seek help from your professional financial adviser who can lodge your business monthly declaration on your behalf.
Important – Wages Declaration
Remember to declare actual wages, exclusive of any JobKeeper payments, accurately:
|Scenario||Worker “in hibernation” and receiving JobKeeper Allowance ($1,500) only||Worker working and earning more than just the JobKeeper Allowance||Worker working and earning only the JobKeeper Allowance||Worker at work and earning less than the JobKeeper Allowance (but their pay is increased to $1,500 under JobKeeper)|
|Example||Worker earns no wages||Workers earns $2,000 per fortnight (including JobKeeper subsidy)||Worker only earns JobKeeper Allowance||Worker earns $500 per fortnight but receives $1,500 in line with the JobKeeper Allowance|
|What do you declare?||Nil declarable as wages||$2,000 declarable as wages||$1,500 declarable as wages||$500 declarable as wages|
Source: We're here to support you during COVID19 and beyond.pdf
How can YML help?
We hope that this guide helps you to access Workers Compensation and JobKeeper Payment scheme independently if that is your preference. Alternatively, please talk to our Accountants today if you would like to engage YML Chartered Accountants to manage the these processes on your behalf. Contact us on (02) 8383 4400 or by visiting the Contact Us page on our website.