JobKeeper Rules Amendment – Employer Requirement to Give Notice to Employees: By 8 May 2020

A new requirement arising from the recent amendment to the JobKeeper rules is at Rule 10. Numbered as new 10A, it states that an employer must provide employees with a written notice of the employer having elected to participate in the JobKeeper Payment scheme. This written notice needs to be provided to all relevant employees:

  • Within seven days of notifying the (ATO) Commissioner of their election to participate (eg by completing the online JobKeeper ‘application’ with the ATO), OR,
  • Within seven days of the commencement of the Rules amendment.

For the purpose of being within seven days of the Rules amendment, the last date for notification is 8 May 2020.

Relevant employees includes employees of the employer, excluding employees who are not eligible to participate in JobKeeper.

What You Need to Do

While employers have no doubt already had discussions with employees about participating in JobKeeper already, specifically with regards to providing employees with the Employee Nomination Notice, the distribution of this written notice by employers is a new statutory requirement. Failure to distribute the notice is an offence pursuant to section 8C of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

The written notice must include the following statements / details:

  • (Notice to the employee that they) must provide by return an employee nomination notice if you agree to be nominated by the Company as an eligible employee of the Company;
  • (Notice to the employee that they) can return the completed employee nomination notice by <insert methods or steps as to how the employee can return the Employee nomination notice eg via email>

Where You Do Not Need to Provide the Written Notice

An employer does not need to provide the written notice to employees:

  • Who you reasonably believe are not eligible; or
  • Where you have previously provided the Employee Nomination Notice to an employee, IF, when providing the Employee Nomination Notice to the employee, it was accompanied by the two statements as noted above.

Scenario A: If you handed the Employee Nomination Notice to employees and only verbally explained the above two statements, this does not meet the written notice requirement – even if the employee has returned the Notice to you (whether or not the completed Notice said they agreed to be nominated or not).

Scenario B: If you provided the Employee Nomination Notice to employees with a covering letter/email and it contained wording covering off on the above two statements, you do not need to send your employees a new written notice.

If you need to issue a written notice to an employee in order to comply with the new ATO rule requirements, but they have already returned the Employee Nomination Notice to you, you could include wording in the letter to explain to that you are issuing the notice in order to comply with updated ATO rules, and that no further action is required from the employee, if they have already returned the Employee Nomination Notice.

If you are unsure about whether a prior written notice complies with the new ATO rule requirements (i.e. you are not confident that you fall under scenario B), we recommend that you re-send a written notice to be safe.

16 and 17 Year Old Employees

Any 16 and 17 year old employees will be required to complete the updated Employee Nomination Form – with the written notice discussed above to be given to those employees

QHA’s Template Notice

Click HERE to download a template letter developed to assist QHA members to meet this new obligation.

Employee Nomination Notice

The ATO’s Employee Nomination Notice can be downloaded from: ATO Website - click here