What is the difference between JobSeeker and JobKeeper? Do you know what you're eligible for?


What is the difference between JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments? There are plenty Government announcements and measures to help the country cope with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and it is completely understandable that this is all confusing for many workers and employers. Below we outline some of the key points for JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments to help you understand what you’re eligible for.

What is the JobSeeker Payment?

Lets put it simply, if you are seeking a job, you are a JobSeeker. JobSeeker payment is a financial help if you’re between 22 and 'Age Pension' age and looking for work.

The JobSeeker payment is a payment available to employees stood down or let go, sole traders, self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income test as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short period of time.

With this scheme, JobSeeker can get anything from $565.70 to $790.10 a fortnight depending on their income. The rule is the more you earn the less you get. To find out what are the steps to claim JobSeeker Payment CLICK HERE >

What is the JobKeeper Payment?

The JobKeeper Payment helps employers significantly impacted by the Coronavirus cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so more Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income. This is an initiative to assist employers retain employees if still operating or to stay connected to employees if their business has closed. The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.

An employer will be eligible if their business turnover has been reduced, or will be reduced, by more than 30% (if annual turnover is less than $1b) or 50% (if annual turnover $1b or more) relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least one month). To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must Register an intention to apply on the ATO website.

Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. This payment will subsidise the normal wages paid by the employer. However, if the employee earns less than $1,500 per fortnight the employer must pay the employee the full $1,500 per fortnight.

Eligible employees are employees who are:

  • currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020).

To qualify, employees must also be an Australian citizens – or hold a permanent visa, a protected special category visa or a non-protected special category visa and have been living in Australia continually for a decade or more. New Zealand citizens on a special category visa will also be eligible.

If you're an employee, your employer will need to claim the fortnightly payment of $1,500 on your behalf.

How do you access the JobKeeper subsidy if you are an Employer?

To be able to access the JobKeeper subsidy, you will need to:

1. Register your interest with the ATO

Applications are not yet open. However, you should register your intent to apply for the JobKeeper subsidy with the ATO. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER >

2. Assess your turnover
  • Ensure you have an accurate record of your revenue for the 2018-19 income year and for the 2019-20 year up to date.
  • Ensure you keep an accurate record of revenue from March 2020 on-wards.
  • Compare your revenue for the whole of March 2019 with the whole of March 2020.
  • Measure the decline in your revenue and keep records. To be eligible, the decline need to be more than 30%.
  • Keep measuring. If you are not eligible in March, you may become eligible in April, May or later. 

3. Identify eligible employees

Nominate the employees eligible for the JobKeeper payments – you will need to provide this information to the ATO and keep that information up to date each month. Employees can only be registered with one employer.

Related articles:
Jobkeeeper Extension: Now is the time to consider what the extension means for your Business, published September 18, 2020
Do Tech Startups need to re-evaluate and adapt due to a shift in Customer Behaviour,
published August 11, 2020
Extension of JobKeeper and Loan Scheme, published July 23, 2020
You can still Raise Capital in 2020, published July 08, 2020
Did you apply for the NSW $3,000 Small Business Recovery Grant, published July 07, 2020
Things to consider when withdrawing Super before and after June 30, published June 26, 2020
Consider your timing when paying Bonuses to Employees, published June 25, 2020
How will COVID-19 affect your End of Financial Year Tax return?, published June 15, 2020
Is your business Tax ready for EOFY?, published June 11, 2020
COVID-19: 5 Steps Plan to surviving the next 6 month as a business, published June 02, 2020
COVID-19: How to motivate your team while working remotely?, published May 18, 2020
Expanding globally during COVID-19: Risky business or perfect timing?, published May 07, 2020
Cashflow is a lifeblood of your Business, especially during a pandemic such as Coronavirus,
published April 21, 2020
Finding opportunities in a crisis and how to recover on the other side of COVID-19?, published April 20, 2020
COVID-19: What does 'Standing Down my team' mean to my Business?, published April 16, 2020
JobKeeper Payment: Eligibility Rules have been released! Who is Eligible?, published April 15, 2020
Working from home during Coronavirus: What expenses are Tax Deductible?, published April 9, 2020
COVID-19: EMDG extra funding of $49.8 million to help Exporters, published April 7, 2020
Startups and Scaleups: R&D Tax Incentive FY2019 deadline extended due to Coronavirus, published April 6, 2020
JobKeeper Allowance: New Government financial measure as a response to COVID-19, published Mar 31, 2020
Should you do Business Planning during CoVID-19?, published 27 Mar, 2020
A second CoVID-19 Stimulus for Businesses, published Mar 24, 2020
Financial relief for business experiencing difficulty due to CoVID-19 and State Government Support, published Mar 21, 2020
What are the benefits of Coronavirus Stimulus Package for businesses?published Mar 13, 2020

Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #COVID-19: StimulusPackage

"Anyone impacted by CoVID-19: ATO Relief is NOT AVAILABLE AUTOMATICALLY. You will need to apply for relief. Contact ATO Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218 or get in touch with us."


This information is accurate on the day it’s published and is subject to change as the situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. Our conclusions may not be valid if there is any change in those facts, circumstances and assumptions.  Accordingly, neither Azure Group Pty Ltd nor any member or employee of Azure Group, undertakes responsibility arising in any way whatsoever to any persons in respect of this alert or any error or omissions herein, arising through negligence or otherwise howsoever caused.

JobKeeper Allowance: New Government Financial Measure as a response to COVID-19
Startups and Scaleups: R&D Tax Incentive FY2019 Deadline extended due to Coronavirus

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Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

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