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Australia’s JobKeeper now live in Xero Payroll

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Mel Arrold

Apr 17, 2020

If you’re an Australian business, you may know that applications for JobKeeper open in just a few days. And Xero Payroll has got your back. Today we released enhancements that make processing the federal wage subsidy simple.

Read on for an overview, with one caveat: the features below assume you’ve opted in to Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you’re not on STP, getting started is simple. Don’t delay, as STP will likely be the simplest route to receiving the JobKeeper subsidy.

How do I tell which employees are eligible for JobKeeper?

Xero Payroll offers you a head start in identifying staff who may be eligible for the wage subsidy. It compares the government’s eligibility criteria and data in Xero Payroll to suggest a list of employees. You’ll be able to modify this list by updating your employee records.

By identifying who’s eligible, you’ll be helping the ATO prepare to issue payments. And you can choose when JobKeeper payments should start and end for each employee. Note the tax office plans to pay employers one month in arrears

How do I report JobKeeper payments that I’ve made?

Xero Payroll helps you process JobKeeper payments you’ve made to workers, including those made before JobKeeper was passed by Parliament. The software creates a pay item so that you can accurately report these payments to the ATO. You just need to add the item to your employee’s payslip. 

We also provide a way to process the JobKeeper payment and report it to the ATO. Most of this happens seamlessly in the background while you’re filing STP.

Recording JobKeeper payments via STP will do more than help you get paid faster. It will ensure your record keeping is clear and well-documented for peace of mind in the months and years to come.

But my circumstances are unusual!

We understand that not all employer-employee relationships neatly fit the eligibility criteria outlined by the government.

We’re providing support pages for scenarios where the eligibility of an employee isn’t clear-cut. For example, maybe you terminated employees and then rehired them. Or perhaps you made JobKeeper payments early, in the expectation of being reimbursed. We’ll update these support pages as we learn more.

These are trying times, and we want you to know we’ve got your back. We’re listening to small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers on how we can help. We’re also working closely with the ATO to ensure you have a smooth experience with JobKeeper. There are more enhancements coming to Xero in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, be sure you’ve opted-in to STP. It’s the simplest route to getting up and running with JobKeeper and other government stimulus!

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