JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme: Are you eligible?
By Renee Ballinger
The latest Government stimulus measure in response to COVID-19 is the JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme, which is a new incentive to encourage businesses to employ additional job seekers between the ages of 16 and 35. The aim is to create new employment positions (rather than reduce the cost of replacing employees) so a condition is in place that ensure the number of employees in the business have increased over the period.
The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme can be accessed for additional employees hired between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021, however it is important to be aware that JobMaker is not able to be claimed for any new hire in the eligible age range. There are many conditions that must be satisfied to be eligible to claim – including an average work hours test of 20 hours per week, as well as a requirement that prior to their employment, the employee received income support (such as JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or a Parenting Payment) for at least one month in the three months before they were hired. Depending on the age of the employee, there are two payment tiers - $200 per week for employees aged 16 to 29 years old and $100 per week for employees between the ages of 30 and 35 years old.
A key eligibility condition for employers is that they must be reporting via Single Touch Payroll (STP) and have all income tax and GST obligations up to date for the two years up to the end of the JobMaker claim period.
As with the preceding JobKeeper Payment scheme, this new JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme has complex eligibility criteria that will need to be assessed in detail at both an employer and an employee level. The first claim period is open from 1 February 2021, covering the claim period 7 October 2020 to 6 January 2021, so we would encourage all business owners to consider reviewing their eligibility as soon as possible.