JobKeeper: Practical guide to enrolment and payment


The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) have now released a step by step guide on how employers will need to handle the JobKeeper program from the initial enrolment to the ongoing claim process for monthly reimbursement payments.

This article is for those businesses who have already determined both the eligibility of their business and their employees.

At this point in time, most businesses have registered their interest in the program via the ATO website. This simply placed you on a mailing register to receive updates about the program with the first notification being sent on 14 April.

The notification confirmed further information on the program has been released which we will now dissect.

From 20 April 2020, businesses will be able to ENROL with the ATO for the JobKeeper Program. This must be completed by the end of April if you want to receive JobKeeper payments from the ATO for the month of April.

There are two key actions business should take prior to this date:

Action 1 – Setup Access to the ATO Business Portal

The enrolment process can only be completed via the ATO Business Portal.

The ATO Business Portal is accessed through authorisation provided by your MyGov ID which will also need to be setup. Many businesses will already have access to the ATO Business Portal but for those who do not, I urge you to take immediate action to get this in place as the setup process can be notoriously troublesome. ATO Instructions on this process are contained in this link.

Any business who does not have access or does not wish to obtain access to the ATO Business Portal, will need to engage their registered tax agent to provide this service.

Action 2 – JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice

Employers are required to have this form completed by each of their employees prior to the end of April. The ATO form can be obtained in this link.

These forms are not required to be sent to the ATO. A copy should be kept on file and provided to your registered tax agent.

This form is NOT required to be completed for Eligible Business Participants. This includes:

  • Sole traders
  • A partner in a partnership
  • An adult beneficiary of a trust (not receiving wages from the trust)
  • A shareholder or director of a company (not receiving wages from the company)

Eligible Business Participants will be able to register themselves in the enrolment form completed via the ATO Business Portal.

Once we have reached 20 April and with the above actions taken, you will be able to complete the online form. Along with confirming your eligibility, you will be required to:

  • Provide bank details for payment
  • Confirm any Eligible Business Participants (as above)
  • ESTIMATE the number of employees who will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment for the following fortnights:
    • 30 March – 12 April
    • 13 April – 26 April

It is critical that businesses have paid ALL eligible employees the minimum of $1,500 per fortnight for the above periods BEFORE 30 April.

The ATO understand the last couple of weeks have been difficult to navigate and are aware payments may not have been made in line with a business’s normal payroll cycle. Accordingly, the ATO is requiring that payment for both fortnights is made by the end of the month in order to be eligible.

This could be a single payment of $3,000 (Gross) on 26 April for example. It is extremely unlikely the ATO will allow this to occur from May onwards if your current payroll cycle is not monthly.

From 4 May 2020, businesses will be able to CLAIM the JobKeeper Payment from the ATO. As above, this process will be completed via the ATO Business Portal.

If you do not have access, you will need to engage a registered tax agent to complete this process on your behalf.

The application form will:

  • Pre-fill with the information provided to the ATO via Single Touch Payroll (STP) Reporting. This reporting has been mandatory from 1 July for essentially all employers. Further info available here. You will need select each eligible employee.
  • For employers not reporting via STP, you will need to manually enter this information into this form.

Upon successful lodgement of this form, the ATO will then process the payment to the business. No indication has been provided on the turnaround time for the payment to be made from this point.

The above CLAIM process will need to be completed every month for the duration of the JobKeeper Program. Should any eligible employees leave your employment, you will notify the ATO via this process.

The ATO have not indicated that Eligible Business Participants (as listed above) will need to complete this process for themselves each month.


Mitch Williams is a manager at SiDCOR Port Douglas.

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