The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal.
Australia has had a national workplace relations tribunal for more than a century and it is one of the country’s oldest key institutions. Over time it has undergone many changes in jurisdiction, name, functions and structure.
Throughout its history, the tribunal has made many decisions that have affected the lives of working Australians and their employers. The Commission recognises the importance of promoting public understanding of the role of the tribunal and of capturing and preserving its history for display and research.
The Commission is responsible for applying provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009. This includes powers to deal with some disputes about the jobkeeper payment scheme.
The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020 (the Payments and Benefits Rules) are made under s.20 of the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 (the Payments and Benefits Act). The Payments and Benefits Rules establish the jobkeeper payment scheme, including:
Payments under the jobkeeper payment scheme are currently available in fortnightly periods between 30 March 2020 and 27 September 2020, although the government has announced an extension to the scheme and changes to the jobkeeper rate to take effect from 28 September 2020. This benchbook will be updated when those changes are made. Information is available on the Australian Taxation Office’s website about the extension of the jobkeeper payment.
Currently, a business that is entitled to a jobkeeper payment will be reimbursed a fixed amount of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. The business must pay the employee before it is entitled to the jobkeeper payment.
Jobkeeper payments are administered by the Australian Taxation Office. Information about eligibility for jobkeeper payments is available on the business.gov.au website (see JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees).
Commission staff cannot give advice on whether an employer is eligible for the jobkeeper scheme, and the following information is provided for information only.
A business that has suffered a substantial decline in turnover can be entitled to a jobkeeper payment for each eligible employee, currenlty $1,500 per fortnight. The business must satisfy the ‘decline in turnover’ test. Different thresholds apply to the decline in turnover required, depending on the status of the entity, as follows:
Some employers are not entitled to receive jobkeeper payments. These include:
The Commission cannot assist with disputes about whether an employer is eligible to receive a jobkeeper payment or whether an employee is an eligible employee for the purposes of the jobkeeper scheme.
Information about how employers can apply for the jobkeeper scheme, and which employees are ‘eligible employees’ for the purposes of the jobkeeper scheme, is available on the Australian Taxation Office website – see JobKeeper Payment.
An employer is not entitled, and is taken never to have been entitled to, a jobkeeper payment unless it complies with record keeping requirements under the Payments and Benefits Act.
Employers can claim the jobkeeper payment for eligible employees. Jobkeeper payments are administered by the Australian Taxation Office. Information about eligibility for jobkeeper payments is available on the ATO website (see Eligible employees).
Commission staff cannot give advice on whether an employee is an ‘eligible employee’, and the following information is provided for information only.
Eligible employees are employees who: