4 Weeks into Covid…..plus Jobkeeper Cashflow implications

Over the last 4 weeks, we have received an incredible amount of calls from our clients and the broader Butlers Accountants Community. Whilst in these uncertain times the support, understanding and co-operation has been incredible. With so many new stimulus initiatives to implement – our staff have been working tirelessly to ensure they are up-to-date with all these changes.

What Next?

Pick up the phone or email our Accountants to help you get the help available. All levels of government, the reserve bank, the ATO and banking systems have placed a number of initiatives to help you get through what is a challenging time.
Our best advice now is;

  • Speak to your Accountant, Financial Advisor, Business Banker or Broker
  • Act early and take advantage of relief packages where applicable
  • Understand your position today, tomorrow and for the next 3-6 months
  • Determine what levers are available to you and when you should pull them.
  • Keep calm.

The ATO has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April.

You can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if you choose. For example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April

There are several critical considerations you need to take into account if the JobKeeper is right for your business.

  • Will your business be able to sustain the cashflow impact by including all eligible employees in the scheme?
  • Can you choose which employees are included ?

Below is a table showing the Minimum Cashflow Requirements  for employers for the six months of the scheme for 1 Employee.

PAYMENT OUT3,0003,0003,0004,5003,0003,00019,500
PAYMENT IN(3,000)(3,000)(3,000)(4,500)(3,000)(3,000)(19,500)
NET PAYMENTS OUT/ (IN)$3,000$1,500($1,500)($3,000)

This means, for each employee you include in the scheme, you will need to fund up to $3,000 ($4,500 for July) over the duration of the six- month period.

For example, if you stood down ten employees without pay, you would need to fund an additional $30,000 over the six-month period to meet minimum pay requirements. The scheme does not give you any compensation for administering these payments for the employees or meeting funding costs for the six months. In this case, you would carefully need to consider the non-cash benefits from including the employees in the scheme, including employee goodwill and the potential to engage with the employees to add value to the business during the scheme period.

However, where you continue to pay all your employees more than $1,500 per fortnight regardless of the scheme, the benefit of the scheme will all accrue to the employer and the decision is much easier.