COVID-19 coverage and response hub

As governments move rapidly with their COVID-19 responses involving businesses, we’re building tools, product updates and support articles in each region to assist you with navigating it all. Our COVID-19 coverage and response hub will help you with understanding legislative changes thoroughly and implementing these changes efficiently in KeyPay.

KeyPay product updates

The tools and product updates KeyPay has introduced that assists businesses with managing legislative changes released by the government.

Latest updates in Australia

JobKeeper Program

On 30 March, the Federal Government revealed the JobKeeper Program in an effort to incentivise employers to keep workers in employment for as long as possible. See the Government’s Treasury website and the ATO website for a complete overview. 


Update: 7 August 2020

On 7 August 2020, the Australian Government announced changes to the JobKeeper Payment program. Effective 3 August 2020, the relevant date of employment will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, to increase employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension. From 28 September 2020, businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the September quarter 2020 to be eligible for JobKeeper Payments from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.  From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week in the relevant reference period.

Update: 21 July 2020

On 21 July 2020, the Australian Government announced it will be extending the JobKeeper payment until 28 March 2021.

  • Existing JobKeeper payments will remain unchanged until 27th September 2020.
  • Businesses seeking to extend JobKeeper payments will need to reapply on 28 September for payments until 3 January with evidence of continuing decline.
  • Businesses seeking further JobKeeper support from January 4 until 28 March 2021 will need to reapply once again with evidence of previous quarters.  
  • The payment rate will be reduced each quarter from 28 September. For further details, check out the Treasury website.

KeyPay will be working on updating its existing tools and reports to help ease the workload. This includes updating the JobKeeper employee eligibility report and extending the JobKeeper start/fortnight periods in the pay run, as required.


Update: 24 April 2020

KeyPay has released more helpful features that have further streamlined the overall management process: 

  1. Employee Nomination Notices: 

Once you’ve identified eligible employees, it is required that employees obtain and record employee consent before commencing JobKeeper payments. 

To assist employers with this, we have created a mechanism where users can bulk publish nomination notices to employees via email. Refer to our JobKeeper Employee Nominations support article for a detailed walkthrough of the setup process.

*Businesses have until 30 April to notify employees and receive completed employee notification forms to be able to claim JobKeeper payments for the month of April.


  1. Processing JobKeeper Payments in Pay Runs

We added a new pay run action - "Add JobKeeper Payment" - that allows users to perform the 3 JobKeeper options: JobKeeper top-up, JobKeeper start and JobKeeper finish, available via a context panel. The system will then create the relevant JobKeeper pay categories based on the actions performed, thereby ensuring pay category settings are configured in accordance with the ATO's requirements. 

Refer to our support article for more details. 


update: 14 April 2020

The ATO recently announced special conditions required to report JobKeeper payments via Single Touch Payroll. We've updated our support article on managing JobKeeper payments to reflect the announcement.

update: 9 April 2020

We’ve updated the JobKeeper Eligibility Report, allowing employers to include employee visa information. If you record employee visas using the qualifications feature, you can now add this to the report parameters. The report will then incorporate the visa qualifications to assess employee eligibility and classify them accordingly. Read the updated JobKeeper Eligibility Report support article.


Reminder: the employee eligibility is only part of the JobKeeper eligibility criteria. Be sure to refer to the treasury website for full details.

update: 8 April 2020

On April 8, the JobKeeper program passed into legislation. For eligibility criteria, refer here.

update: 3 April 2020

NEW REPORT: JobKeeper Eligibility Report

The JobKeeper Eligibility Report easily allows employers to determine the eligibility status of their employees. You can access this report within KeyPay by navigating to Reports > JobKeeper Eligibility Report (under the "Employees" list).

Disclaimer:

  • The JobKeeper eligibility report is designed to provide an employer with the information to make an informed decision on which of their employees fit the basic eligibility criteria provided by the government.
  • The eligibility of all employees should be manually verified before proceeding to claim the JobKeeper subsidy from the Australian Tax Office.
  • The report makes no assumptions about the eligibility of the EMPLOYER to claim the JobKeeper subsidy. This should be determined by the employer.

________

We’ve summed up the important points from the government’s treasury website in a blog titled “JobKeeper program: Australian Government wage subsidies during COVID-19”.

Payroll Tax

The Australian Payroll Association has provided the summary below regarding stimulus packages concerning payroll tax for each State/Territory. 


*KeyPay users can utilise the Payroll Tax Report to provide a breakdown of earnings and super that are (a) subject to payroll tax and (b) payroll tax exempt. 


Last updated: 15 April 2020

ACT – Payroll tax payments waived for six months from April to September 2020 for employers operating in the categories that have been announced as prohibited business activity in the ACT. More info.

NT - Business relief measures under the Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan. More info


NSW - Employers whose total grouped Australian wages for the 2019/20 financial year are over $10 million, will have the option of deferring the payment of payroll tax for up to six months. Employers whose total grouped Australian wages for the 2019/20 financial year are no more than $10 million will have their annual tax liability reduced by 25% when they lodge their annual reconciliation, which is due on 28 July. Additionally, no payment for the months of March, April or May 2020 will be required for these employers. More info.

VIC -  Businesses with annual Victorian taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. More info


QLD - Employers with < $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages, refunds of your payroll tax for 2 months (November and December 2019) and no payroll tax to be paid) for 3 months (January to March 2020). Employers with > $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages and have been negatively affected by coronavirus can apply for a refund for Jan and Feb 2020 and a deferral up to June 2020. More info.


SA -  Employers < $4m in Australia wide wages will receive a 6-month payroll tax waiver from April to September 2020 (i.e March returns – August returns do not need to be paid).

Businesses with Australian grouped wages >$4 million that can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by COVID 19 will, upon application, be able to defer payroll tax payments for the six months from April to September 2020 so the payments for these periods will need to be paid in October. More info


WA - Payroll tax will be waived for March to June for employers who have Australian taxable wages of less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020. More info


TAS - Payroll Tax waiver Australian Group Wages of up to $5.0 million annually (March – June) where it can be demonstrated the coronavirus has affected the business. Full year payroll tax waiver for certain industries. A 12-month payroll tax rebate to approved employers for new youth employees (aged 24 years and under) employed between 1/4/2020 and 31/12/2020. More info

Award flexibility during COVID-19

Last updated: 9 April 2020

On April 8, Fair Work made determinations that varied 99 awards. These provided temporary changes to these awards, providing employees with:

  • 2 weeks unpaid pandemic leave
  • the ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agrees

See here for Fair Work's overview on the latest determinations due to COVID-19.

A number of these awards are available for automation in KeyPay, and we're pleased to announce that they have all been updated accordingly.


3 April 2020 - award flexibility during COVID-19

Due to impacts the Coronavirus is having on workplaces, a number of unions and employer associations are applying to Fair Work to increase award flexibility. See the Fair Work Website for the most recent updates.

The awards currently varied are:

  • Restaurant Industry Award (2010)
  • Clerks Private Sector Award (2010)
  • Hospitality (General) Industry Award 2010

All of the variances in these awards have been updated in KeyPay, compliant with Fair Work.


Read an overview of the awards affected during COVID-19 and how KeyPay helps.

Latest updates in the UK

Job Retention Scheme / Furloughed employees

UPDATE: JUNE 15

HMRC recently made changes to the Job Retention Scheme, to take place from July 1. Updates are regarding more flexible furloughing from July 1, and reduction in grants from August 1. Read our blog for more details.

UPDATE: 21 May 2020

KeyPay recently created a new report layout for furloughing employees in compliance with the HMRC Job Retention Scheme. The details can be found in our furloughing employees support article.

UPDATE: 20 April 2020

On 15 April, HMRC provided additional information on the Job Retention Scheme (furloughed employees) claim process. This includes an easement to the employment dates of employees that can be furloughed to 19 March 2020 (previously 28 February). The online claim service is expected to launch on GOV.UK on April 20. Read our blog on how to prepare for claiming for furloughed employees.

Furloughing employees: there are a number of options available in KeyPay that you could use to assist you with furloughing employees. Read our support article.

UPDATE: 26 March 2020

HMRC published more information on how employers can claim for furloughed employees. See our blog summary and check out the latest updates on the UK Government website.

Statutory Sick Pay changes

UPDATE: 11 May 2020

We've updated our SSP support article guiding users on how to run a report to show SSP COVID-19.

UPDATE: march 13 2020

On March 13, legislation passed to allow employees to receive Statutory Sick Pay from day 1 of sickness if they have COVID-19 related symptoms. KeyPay has the functionality to overwrite waiting days in the system so you’re compliant with these temporary changes. See how in our SSP COVID-19 support article.


See our blog summary and keep up to date on the latest SSP changes on the UK Government website.

Latest updates in New Zealand

COVID Leave payment and Wage subsidy scheme

Last updated: 1 April 2020

As of 3pm Friday 27 March 2020, the Leave Payment scheme was merged into an amended Wage Subsidy Scheme in an effort to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. You can access more details about the modified scheme on the Government’s dedicated page here.

________

We’ve put together a support article that discusses the best practice for setting up Wage Subsidy and Leave Payment schemes in KeyPay.

KeyPay bites

Managing COVID-19 related processes in KeyPay

Do more with less, with KeyPay

Useful resources

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