The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy of $1200 per fortnight for people who normally work 20+ hours per week and $750 per fortnight for those who work less than 20 hours per week. This subsidy will be paid to your employer to be passed on to you through your wages. The number of hours you normally work is determined by the hours you were working before the pandemic. The idea of the JobKeeper payment is to help maintain employment during this pandemic however, not all workers in Australia are covered by this scheme.

This scheme has recently been extended with some modifications until March 2021. This fact sheet will be updated with any changes made to JobKeeper as they happen.

To be eligible to be nominated for the JobKeeper payment:

  • your employer must have experienced a significant decline in turnover, 
  • you must have been employed as at 1 March 2020, 
  • you must be over 16, 
  • you must be an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder and 
  • you must not be receiving the payment from another employer. 

Employees who have been stood down or terminated due to COVID-19 and then reengaged are eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment.


The following are ineligible for the JobKeeper scheme:

  • Casual workers who have worked less than 12 months for their employer 
  • Temporary visa holders other than those on the 444 visa
  • Workers employed by businesses who have not experienced a significant enough downturn 
  • Informal employees (cash-in-hand workers)

How is the payment made?

The JobKeeper payment is made to your employer once requested from the ATO. They must seek your permission before nominating you to receive the payment through a ‘nomination notice’. 

If you are eligible and your employer has nominated to participate in the JobKeeper scheme, then they must pay you the full subsidy or more per fortnight before tax. This money can be paid as wages, commission, bonus, allowances, and superannuation.

What if I make more than the subsidised amount normally?

You must be paid the hourly wage and contributions you would normally be entitled to based on your award or enterprise agreement or the subsidised amount per fortnight, whichever is higher.

What if I make less than the subsidised amount normally?

If you have been stood down or your wage is less than the subsidised amount per fortnight, you should still receive at least the subsidised amount per fortnight (before tax). If you would normally earn less than that per fortnight and are now being paid the full subsidy per fortnight, your employer does not need to make additional superannuation contributions based on your new wage, but you may negotiate with your employer to contribute some of the wage subsidy into your superannuation.

Example 1.
Jess is a full-time chef and is still working through the pandemic. Jess regularly earns $3000/per fortnight and is still working the same hours. The JobKeeper scheme will subsidise $1200/per fortnight of Jess' wages. Her employer must pay the remainder of her wages and her entitlements. 

Example 2.
Jack is a part-time retail assistant and is still working through the pandemic. Jack regularly earns $1000/per fortnight and is still working the same hours. Jack will now receive an additional $200/per fortnight through the JobKeeper scheme. The additional $200 does not mean that Jack gets additional superannuation.

Example 3.
Jim is a full-time bartender and has been stood down by his employer. He will receive $1200/per fortnight through the JobKeeper scheme but is not entitled to any superannuation or allowances. However, Jim has negotiated with his employer to but $200 of his payment into his superannuation account and receive the $1000 left over as pay.

If you have a concern about your work, contact your Union or the Young Workers Advice Service at youngworkerscbr@unionsact.org.au.

To find out more about how to join your union, visit http://www.unionsact.org.au/joinyourunion/ or have a look at our fact sheet here.

Authorised M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601.

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