The Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme is coming to an end on 28 March 2021, meaning businesses will no longer be entitled to receive JobKeeper payments for their eligible employees or utilise the temporary JobKeeper provisions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act) which gave employers certain flexibilities. It is a critical period for employers and now is the time to be preparing for this change.
This update provides information on key actions to take to prepare for the end of the JobKeeper payments and Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions, as well as other areas for consideration with respect to employment requirements post-JobKeeper.
Preparing for the end of JobKeeper payments:
- Communicate with employees prior to the end of JobKeeper
As the JobKeeper Payment scheme ends on 28 March, it is recommended that you notify your employees of this, particularly where the amount received under JobKeeper may differ from the employee’s regular pay rate.
Members of the National Retail Association can access a FREE template letter notifying employees of the end of JobKeeper payments HERE.
- Submit your March monthly business declaration to the ATO
Employers do not have to take any specific action with the ATO when the scheme ends, however you will need to complete your final monthly business declaration for March by 14 April 2021.
- Consider other options for Government assistance
Although the JobKeeper scheme will not be extended, there may be additional assistance available to employers such as grants, hiring incentives and targeted support for particular sectors. Contact us on 1800 RETAIL (738 245) for more information.
Preparing for the end of JobKeeper enabling directions:
- Notify employees that the JobKeeper enabling direction will cease
Any JobKeeper enabling direction, whether issued by an employer currently on JobKeeper or a Legacy Employer, will cease to have effect from the start of 29 March 2021. This means that employees will revert to their normal (i.e. pre-COVID) terms and conditions of employment. While the direction will automatically cease to apply, employers should communicate with their employees about the change.
Members of the National Retail Association can access a FREE template letter notifying employees of the cessation of JobKeeper enabling directions HERE.
- Consider employment requirements post-JobKeeper
If your business is still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you should consider your employment requirements post-JobKeeper.
This includes considering workforce restructure, whether employees can be stood down, and whether other flexibilities may be permitted under an industrial instrument or by agreement. Given the complex nature of the considerations and related employment obligations, we recommend calling our workplace relations hotline on 1800 RETAIL (738 245) for specific advice tailored to your business’s needs.
*The content of this article has been prepared based on material available to date (16 March 2021). The material is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or situation. In any important matter, you should seek appropriate independent professional advice in relation to your own circumstances. The National Retail Association accepts no responsibility or liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the reliance on information contained in this JobKeeper update.