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EMPLOYERS must urgently identify new employees for JobKeeper and make any necessary “top up” payments by August 31 as part of new rules for the JobKeeper program.

This is particularly important for members of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) as the VACC has been successful in having eligibility criteria for industry reviewed, meaning more automotive retail businesses can continue to remain eligible for JobKeeper.

The VACC said changes to employee eligibility under JobKeeper included the reference date moving from March 1 to July 1, 2020.

It said that employees employed during this period and who meet the other eligibility requirements, are now newly-eligible employees for qualifying employers under the JobKeeper Scheme.

“It means that employers currently enrolled in JobKeeper do not have a choice as to whether or not they extend the JobKeeper Payment to newly-eligible employees,” the VACC said.

“JobKeeper employers must therefore identify newly eligible employees, provide them with a nomination notice by August 21, 2020, and make any necessary ‘top up’ payments by August 31, 2020.

“A failure to do so would constitute a breach of the JobKeeper Rules which could expose the employer to penalties.”

The VACC said that because of the imminent nature of these changes and its potential complexity from an administrative perspective, VACC and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have put together an information sheet (available from the VACC website) summarising the changes to assist members.

This includes suggested actions to be taken by businesses to ensure they meet upcoming deadlines and do not inadvertently find themselves exposed to penalties.

In addition, VACC and ACCI have updated their JobKeeper Employer Guide for members to reflect the latest changes.

The chamber has been active in supporting its members with cutting edge advice on JobKeeper and continues to lobby the federal government for greater access for all automotive retail members.

Members needing further advice and support on JobKeeper payments are encouraged to contact VACC’s Workplace Relations team on 03 9829 1123 or [email protected].

VACC has created a dedicated resource to deal with members’ JobKeeper queries. For specific payroll related advice relating to JobKeeper, VACC members are encouraged to contact Andrea Chwalko: [email protected].

By Neil Dowling