Can JobKeeper Topups be more than $1500 per fortnight

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We have some casual workers on JobKeeper. Some weeks we have work for them, some we don't. I am trying to keep paying them their standard weekly wage whilst we can, and have the cost of this partially offset by the JobKeeper (because they are valued employees and we feel for them).

So my question is, if they have done NO work for the week but their standard weekly wage was $1600, do I enter this all as Jobkeeper-Topup, or should it be $1500 as Jobkeeper-Topup (the maximum amount per fortnight), and I call the remaining $100 a Bonus or something similar?

Are there restrictions on how much Jobkeeper-Topup should be used? I don't want to cause a glitch in the ATO records when I upload the STP.

Thanks for any help.
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Sandra

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Posted 1 month ago

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Kris Williams

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Jobkeeper topup is 1500 per fortnight, I don’t think you’re obliged to pay any more if they are not working
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Sandra

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Hi Kris,
I know we are not obliged to, but we wish to. My question is how to code/record this in the payroll system of Accounts. Do I call it all TopUp, or should I call anything above $1500 per fortnight something else, like a bonus?
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Kris Williams

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I guess you could call it a bonus, I’m not really sure though, still taxable and attracts super though 
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John Graetz

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Thinking this through, I have another alternative because of some issues which are likely to arise, if you are not careful.  Bear in mind that the work that they actually perform is still subject to the payment of SGC if it reaches the $450 limit in a month.  The approach that you are taking creates an unusual situation and I am thinking that the following might be something to adopt in order to reflect the actual position you are taking:
1.  Pay them their usual pay for hours worked.
2.  Create a new Payroll item called say "Make-up pay in lieu of work" which will be the difference between payment for the hours worked and the amount that you want to make their pay up to.  You would set this up so that it is still subject to tax but not SGC because it is not Ordinary Times Earnings.
3.  Don't even include anything for JobKeeper in the pay run.  My reason for saying that is that it is your desire to keep paying them something like they usually receive per pay.  It just so happens that you are in a position to have the payment you make to them offset by a JobKeeper claim of $1,500 per fortnight.  (In the case of full time or part time employees who are paid more than $1,500 p.f. no mention is made of JobKeeper.)
4.  My belief is that the ATO will not be checking to see how you made the payment to your staff, but rather they will be ensuring that they were paid at least $1,500 p.f.
Somebody else might find some flaws in what I have suggested and they are welcome to comment.
John L G
(Edited)
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Kris Williams

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Yes I thought it might have repercussions John, glad you could explain it.
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Sandra

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Thanks very much for this John - that actually makes a lot of sense. I hadn't considered that we wouldn't have to pay super on the extra above JobKeeper, being not OTE.

It sounds good not using the terms JobKeeper in the pay, especially as (for example) the pay this week relates to the employees doing no work in the first week of an ATO fortnight. Whereas for the next pay (the second week of the ATO fortnight) they have worked. So when the two weeks are added together to make sure the fortnight is correct it could get confusing if I use JobKeeper terms.

Hi Sandra

 

Agree with John & Kris here.

 

To clarify, the “Topup” is only paid/specified where necessary to bring the gross amount paid to $ 1,500 – If an employee earns above that, there’s no “Topup” in terms of JobKeeper.

 

However, as an employer you can of course pay any additional amount you like eg as a “Bonus” – Be very clear on exactly what the bonus is for/represents though as the ATO’s OTE definition can be a bit of a grey area for Bonuses as per this screenshot from the ATO:




You can access the full table here for future reference:
https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Super-for-employers/How-much-to-pay/Checklist--salary-or-wages-and-ordinary-time-earnings/

 

Shaz Hughes Dip(Fin) ACQ NSW, MICB

Reckon Accredited Professional Partner Bookkeeper / Registered BAS Agent (No: 92314 015)

Accounted 4 Bookkeeping Services

Ballajura, WA

0422 886 003

shazinoz2@bigpond.com

www.accounted4bs.com


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Sandra

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Thanks Shaz.