5.30pm, 31st March, 2020
JobKeeper Scheme – Further Information
Further to ClubsNSW’s advice yesterday on the Government’s JobKeeper scheme, Member Clubs are advised of additional details. Most importantly, clubs wishing to participate in the JobKeeper scheme should register their interest on the Australian Taxation Office website. Clubs can also obtain further information on the scheme from the Treasury’s website.
An employee is eligible for the JobKeeper scheme if they were a full-time or part-time employee of the Club on 1 March 2020, regardless of the employee’s start date. An employee is also eligible if they were a casual employee of the Club on 1 March 2020, and that, as of 1 March 2020, they had been employed by the club continuously for one year.
The scheme applies to stood down employees and operational employees. Clubs will not need to give stood down employees operational responsibilities in order to receive the JobKeeker payments. Alternatively, clubs can seek to provide stood down employees with useful work at the club within their skill and capability level – noting that if the employee is required to work, the Club must contribute superannuation and accrue annual leave and long service leave for all hours worked. Further, any hours worked over the value of $750 per week must be paid for by the Club.
Employees with a wage or salary less than $750 per week
If an employer is participating in the JobKeeper scheme and nominates an employee, and that employee has or had a regular wage or salary less than $750 per week, the Club will be required to increase the employee’s payments to $750 per week.
A club is not required to contribute superannuation on JobKeeper payments made to stood down employees. A club must contribute superannuation on all wages and salaries which would need to be paid in the absence of the JobKeeper scheme. For instance, suppose a club pays an employee a salary of $1,000 per week, and the club continues to employ the person in an operational capacity. The club may elect to receive $750 per week under the JobKeeper scheme to partly subsidise the employee’s salary. However, the club would need to contribute superannuation on the full amount of $1,000.
The Club must withhold tax from all payments to an employee, regardless of whether the payments are subsidised by the JobKeeper scheme.
Timeframe for commencing payments
Given no draft legislation has been published, and no laws have been enacted, ClubsNSW notes that paying employees immediately – and subsequently claiming those payments from the ATO from 1 May 2020 – entails some risk. Alternatively, clubs may wish to await further information before commencing payments to their employees. ClubsNSW also notes that some clubs may experience cash flow difficulties paying their staff over the next month, and only being reimbursed from 1 May 2020. Clubs may wish to discuss these matters with their bank.
As noted above, clubs should register their interest on the ATO website if they have not done so already.
Closure of Golf Courses and Bowling Greens
NB: This advice has since been revised, please see update from 1st April.
Having received assurance from Government and law enforcement officials, ClubsNSW previously advised that golf courses and bowling greens may remain open. Following the NSW Government’s enforcement of stricter restrictions on gatherings and movements, golf courses and bowling greens can no longer remain open to club members and the public. These new restrictions will effectively require golf courses and bowling greens to shut, however greenskeepers and other maintenance workers may continue to maintain the course or green.
Payroll Tax Waiver and Deferral
On 17 March 2020, ClubsNSW advised Member Clubs that the NSW Government had announced payroll tax relief which applies to clubs with payrolls of up to $10 million, with a three-month waiver.
The payroll tax waiver has now been legislated, and it will take the form of a 25% discount on the payroll tax which would otherwise be payable for the 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 year. Therefore, eligible clubs will benefit from this relief even if their payroll for the April-June 2020 period is low.
The NSW Government has also increased the payroll tax-free threshold from $900,000 to $1 million. The new threshold of $1 million will apply from the start of the 2020-2021 year, commencing 1 July 2020.
In addition to the above payroll tax relief measures, on 27 March the Government announced a six-month deferral of payroll tax, which would defer upcoming payments (including the payment due on 7 April 2020) for 6 months. Details of the implementation of the 6-month deferral are yet to be clarified. Further information on the deferral can be found here.
For more information or any questions, please contact the ClubsNSW Members Enquiries Centre.