Under variations to the wage subsidy program, employers have been able to add newly eligible staff since August 3, so long as they were employed by the company on on July 1 and meet various other eligibility criteria. And now there are new guidelines.

While the deadline for fortnightly payments tied to the last two JobKeeper fortnights (commencing August 3 and 17, respectively) has now passed, employers wanting to add new workers for forthcoming pay periods are able to do so using Single Touch Payroll enabled software.

The ATO says businesses can complete their monthly JobKeeper declarations by entering their newly eligible workers into STP software and declaring the first fortnight they are claiming payments for those workers, after which the ATO will send updated business declaration forms (this may take up to 72 hours).

Many businesses have been filing their monthly declarations through STP software throughout the life of the JobKeeper program, but there are also processes supporting those not using software or reporting through STP.

These businesses need to manually enter eligible employees, including new employees, through the ATO’s online business portal and will not benefit from a pre-populated form that allows other business to merely confirm the eligibility of listed staff.

Thousands of new employees are expected to join the JobKeeper program under the new July 1 eligibility cut-off, but the program will be scaled down at the end of September, at which time a second phase with lower payments and tighter business eligibility criteria is implemented.

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