There is no doubt that the past 12-months have been a challenge for small businesses. Many businesses are still in their infancy of paving their way and having to navigate that with all the current uncertainly is no easy feat.
With JobKeeper ending in March, there has been lot of stress about how small businesses would be able to keep employing staff and making ends meet. However, a new stimulus has been introduced and you may be eligible for it.
What is JobMaker?
In an effort to incentivise Australian businesses to hire young workers, the Government has introduced JobMaker, which is an employment stimulus package designed to get young people employed by 6 October 2021. This stimulus will be available to businesses who can fulfill the eligibility requirements and in return they will receive weekly payments.
Who is it for?
This package is for businesses who can hire junior staff aged between 16 to 35 years. To qualify for the JobMaker benefit, both employer and employees will need to meet key requirements.
For the employees, the eligibility requirements are that:
- They must be aged between 16 and 35 years old at the time of employment.
- They must work an average of 20 hours a week for three consecutive months.
- They must have been receiving a government allowance for more than four weeks during the previous 12 weeks prior to commencing employment, such as JobSeeker, youth allowance, or parenting support.
- They must have been employed between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.
Unfortunately, those who are not currently receiving government support, or those who are changing jobs are not eligible.
The amounts you can receive are age dependant. Those aged between 16 and 29 years of age will be eligible for a higher weekly payment than those who are older.
For businesses the requirements are that they:
- Already have an ABN and be registered to withhold PAYG.
- Must be using Single Touch Payroll system.
- Have their tax returns and Business Activity Statements up to date.
- Can prove that they are creating new job positions by showing a rise in the number of employees you are hiring through your employee payroll. You also need to show all JobMaker funding received. This is because they are trying to stop businesses from taking advantage of the JobMaker benefits by slashing wages of current staff. This ensures the payments go to businesses who need it.
For those planning on starting a new business or if you are a business owner wanting to give someone the opportunity to join your company and take advantage of the employment stimulus package, we can help you determine if you meet the requirements and streamline the process of hiring new staff.
How many people are likely to secure JobMaker?
Around $4 billion has been invested into this scheme that both helps young people get into the workforce and small business owners receive the assistance that they need. An estimated 450,000 will benefit. This is a good win for Australians as the official jobless rate was 6.6 per cent in December which dropped to 6.4 per cent in January. However, there were fears for more unemployment in March when Job Keeper was cut off. Getting as many people as possible into jobs is key for keeping those rates declining.
The criteria may appear complicated, but if you are entitled for JobMaker funding why not take advantage of it.
Gerry Incollingo, Managing Director, LCI Partners