The Government announced JobMaker hiring credits as part of its 2020-21 Federal Budget. So what is it and can it benefit your business?
JobMaker has generated many questions about how it will work, the rules around eligibility, and how to take advantage of the scheme for business.
As the legislation has yet to pass Parliament, there are still some uncertainties about how the scheme will work. Here's a summary of what's been announced so far.
What is JobMaker?
JobMaker is a credit available to eligible businesses for hiring additional employees, not if you are merely replacing someone who left. The hiring credit is available for jobs created from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021.
The credit provides:
- $200 per week for new employees between 16 to 29 years of age, and
- $100 a week for new employees between 30 to 35 years of age.
The credit is an incentive for the employer to support wage costs and not passed onto the employee. Payment is from the start date of the employee for 12 months.
When do the credits start?
The dates for the scheme have been set for 7 October 2020 to 6 October 2021, however this assumes the legislation passes in its current form, that your business is eligible, and that the 'additionality' test is also passed.
The credits will be claimable quarterly in arrears from the ATO from 1 February 2021.
How can your business access JobMaker?
There are three tests for JobMaker:
- Has an ABN
- Up to date with tax lodgements
- Registered for PAYG
- Reporting through single touch payroll
- Keeps adequate records of the paid hours worked by the employee they are claiming the credit for
- Another employer is not claiming JobMaker for the same employee
- Received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (Other) or Parenting Payment for at least one month within the three months before they were hired
- Between 16 and 35 years of age at the time their employment started
- Worked at least 20 hours per week on average for the full weeks employed for the period being claimed. If the employee worked less than 20 hours, the employer cannot claim JobMaker for them during that period
- Started work between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021
- The first year of employment with the employer
- The employer is not receiving other forms of assistance from the Commonwealth Government for the employee, for example JobKeeper or an apprenticeship subsidy
Additional employee test (additionality test)
- Total employee headcount on the last day of the reporting period increased by at least one additional employee compared initially to 30 September 2020, then to the previous reporting period.
- Total payroll for the reporting period increased compared initially to the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September 2020), then to the previous reporting period. The hiring credit cannot exceed the increase in payroll.
Government entities or agencies, banks and other institutions subject to the bank levy, businesses in liquidation, and foreign Government entities (unless a resident entity), are unable to access JobMaker.
The 'additionality' test: Total headcount and payroll increases are the main measures
Businesses can only receive JobMaker for eligible employees if the total headcount and payroll increases. If either decrease or remain the same, JobMaker can't be claimed for the relevant period.
For example, if you had three staff at September 2020 and hired an additional two employees in late October 2020, the business can claim JobMaker for the two new employees. This assumes that the business and the employer are eligible and payroll has increased compared to the September 2020 quarter.
Say, however, that in December 2020 one of your original staff members resigns. That means that the business can only claim JobMaker for one eligible employee in December as its headcount has increased by one, not two, compared to the September 2020 baseline.
A similar baseline concept applies to payroll. If the business employed new eligible employees in October 2020 but overall payroll remained the same or only increased marginally because the hours of existing staff reduced when the two new employees were employed, then the JobMaker credit will only be the additional payroll amount.
For example, if the JobMaker credit for the two employees for the quarter is $8,960, but payroll compared to the September 2020 quarter only increased by $1,200, then the JobMaker credit you receive would be $1,200. The JobMaker credit cannot exceed the increase in payroll.
Each month, employers will need to ensure they pass these 'additionality' tests before claiming.
How does this need to be reported?
The business's headcount and payroll increase is measured on the last day of each reporting period from the date the first new employee started. For example, if they joined in October 2020, your baseline is set at that point.
If a new employee starts in January 2021, the payroll and headcount baseline is measured from the last reporting period, in this case, December 2020 for headcount and the December quarter for payroll. That is, the baseline commences from the date your new employee starts and then is reassessed each reporting period to ensure there is an increase.
Claiming JobMaker is dependent on when employees are hired
JobMaker is available for 12 months for eligible employees hired from 7 October 2020 until 6 October 2021. If you hire new employees from January 2021, JobMaker is available for 12 months for these employees assuming that the employees and business are eligible and the 'additionality' test is passed.
The baseline for the 'additionality' tests – headcount and payroll - starts from the start date of your new employee.
The Government has indicated that the baseline for the 'additionality' test will be adjusted in the second year of the program to ensure an employer can only receive JobMaker for 12 months for each additional position created. The detail of exactly how these rules will work has not been released as yet.
What if you didn't have employees in September?
Businesses with no employees on 30 September, cannot claim JobMaker for their first employee. However, JobMaker can be claimed for the second and any subsequent employees that started on or before 6 October 2021.
Can the business get JobKeeper and JobMaker?
No. Once your business exits JobKeeper and is no longer receiving JobKeeper payments for any employees or business participants, if eligible, the business could then start to receive JobMaker credits. The business is eligible for the hiring credit in the reporting period following your JobKeeper exit date.
Don't bank your plans on JobMaker – Yet.
The JobMaker credit and the details of how the rules will apply are subject to change. Please do not make decisions based on the JobMaker information available as the final shape of the legislation could change. We will provide a summary of the rules and how you can claim the JobMaker hiring credit as soon as the rules are confirmed. Join our mailing list or contact us on 02 9957 4033 for more information.
This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.