JobKeeper payment extension granted to assist with cash flow, Ombudsman says

JobKeeper payment extension granted to assist with cash flow, Ombudsman says

by Freya Lucas

April 29, 2020

Small businesses, some of which operate in the field of early childhood education and care (ECEC) have been granted an extension to pay their employees under the JobKeeper program, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said yesterday.


Small businesses that had concerns about paying their staff the $1,500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment for the first month prior to payments flowing in early May, now have until 8 May 2020 to ensure those payments have been made to their eligible employees, something which Ms Carnell said “will come as a welcome relief”. 


The announcement, she said, comes at an “especially critical time” for small businesses who had chosen not to apply for JobKeeper because they were worried they could not pay staff by 30 April, encouraging those business to now apply. 


“The big four banks have established JobKeeper helplines that are dedicated to ensuring small businesses have the funding they need to pay their staff. They are promising to fast-track these applications,” she added, saying that some fintechs have also released products to help small businesses with cash flow. 


For those businesses that are struggling to meet rental payments, Ms Carnell reminded them that they are only covered by the Mandatory Commercial Tenancy Code of Conduct if they are eligible for JobKeeper, so applying for JobKeeper “could be essential to your business’ survival”.


Businesses have until 31 May 2020 to formally enrol to claim JobKeeper payments, however, Ms Carnell said “the sooner an employer pays their staff for April and enrols, the sooner the ATO can reimburse them the JobKeeper payments.”


More information is available here. To read Ms Carnell’s statement in full, see here