Sole traders (including those who are self-employed or have employees) will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
- their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 percent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).
Self-employed individuals will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 Sole Trader JobKeeper Payment where they have suffered. Sole traders must elect to participate in the scheme. They will need to make an application to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.
Eligible sole traders with employees will receive the payment for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and continues to be engaged by that sole trader – including part-time and stood down employees. To be eligible, the employee must be an Australian citizen, or the holder of a visa that would allow them to be eligible for the JobSeeker Payment, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) visa holder. Casual employees are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, except those employees who had been with their employer on a regular basis for at least the previous 12 months as at 1 March 2020.
Eligible sole traders with employees who have stood down their employees before the commencement of this scheme will be able to participate. Employees that are re-engaged by a business that was their employer on 1 March 2020 will also be eligible.
In circumstances where an employee is accessing support though Services Australia because they have been stood down or had their hours reduced and the employee will be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, the employee should advise Services Australia of their change in circumstances online at my.gov.au or by telephone.
Where employees have multiple employers – only one employer will be eligible to receive the payment. The employee will need to notify their primary employer to claim the JobKeeper Payment on their behalf. The claiming of the tax free threshold will in most cases be sufficient notification that an employer is the employee’s primary employer.