How to access JobKeeper subsidies for restaurant, cafe & foodservice employees

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JobKeeper subsidies will be a vital support for cafes, restaurants and foodservice businesses that have remained open. Government policy and regulations are changing fast, so we are providing links to the best sites that will give you the facts and guidance you need.


What businesses are eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy payments?

JobKeeper is available to businesses with annual turnover of less than $1 billion, and that have seen a 30% drop in turnover due to the coronavirus. Not-for-profits like community cafes, and self-employed people like consultant chefs are also eligible, if they meet these requirements. If your business has been open for less than 12 months: ‘the Tax Commissioner will have discretion to consider additional information that the business or not-for-profit can provide to establish that they have been significantly affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus.’

You will need to prove a drop in sales (check requirements on the information links at the end), and the more you have well-organised accounts and bookwork to prove your case, the quicker you will receive payments. DIY bookkeeping can be very expensive unless you know what you’re doing – professional assistance is highly recommended to get the maximum subsidy.

JobKeeper 2 will be extended to 28th March 2021, and businesses will need to complete another eligibility test.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper payments:

* Reduce to $1200 per fortnight

* $750 per fortnight for those that work less than 20 hours per week on average (who were actively engaged in the business in February 2020)

* $750 per fortnight for business participants

* Businesses will need to complete another eligibility test demonstrating 30% decline based on actual GST turnover from the June & Sept 2020 quarters

From 4 January to 28 March 2021

* Reduce to $1000 per fortnight

* $650 per fortnight for those that work less than 20 hours per week on average (who were actively engaged in the business in February 2020)

* $650 per fortnight for business participants

* Businesses will need to complete another eligibility test demonstrating 30% decline on actual GST turnover from the June, Sept & Dec 2020 quarters


Which staff are eligible?

The subsidy is available to a business for full-time, part-time and casual employees over the age of 16 who were employed on July 1, 2020. Check the Govt JobKeeper 2 Information Page - it has a specific cafe e xample at the end. Employees can only receive the JobKeeper payment from one employer.

Staff who have been paid cash and are not on the books, or people who have been with you for less than 12 months, will not be eligible – this will make it difficult for informal businesses to claim JobKeeper subsidy. The ATO has now made payroll compliance much more important.

The JobKeeper scheme is managed by the Australian Taxation Office, using the payroll information returns you provide through the Single Touch Payroll system each week. Registered employers will receive the JobKeeper payment for each eligible employee, including those that have been stood down or recently rehired, every two weeks.


Useful Sources of Information:


Australian Government Information on JobKeeper and the JobKeeper 2 extension

Coronavirus Information Hub – Restaurant & Catering Australia. Join their free email list to get daily updates on government policy changes and new financial support.

NumericEight Information Blog

Chris Green’s Financial Relief During Coronavirus Information Page

Muscillo Romano's Guide to JobKeeper 2 and JobSeeker





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