The Synod has qualified for the JobKeeper payments, with the first payment occurring on April 30.
Last month, the Federal Government announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses and organisations, including Not-for Profits, affected by the significant economic impact caused by COVID-19.
About 6 million eligible workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1500 (before tax) from the Australian Taxation Office, through their employer. This means that the first $1500 per fortnight of the wages and salaries of eligible employees is subsidised by the government.
The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over. This is a temporary arrangement, effective from March 30 until September 27, 2020, with the first payments due to start as of the beginning of May.
Synod’s Ministries and Operations have been liaising with Assembly and all other Synods of the Uniting Church since the government announced support packages for organisations impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
As of April 24, Ministers and people in placement positions can be included in the JobKeeper scheme.
On May 6th, The Australian Tax Office issued a new Jobkeeper form for ‘religious practitioners’. Every religious practitioner who completed the previous form is required complete an updated version of the JobKeeper nomination form – JobKeeper religious practitioner nomination notice.
The ATO have advised that it is essential that everyone who completed the previous form completes the new form.
As the registered employer, Synod will receive the funding from the ATO. This must then be paid directly to staff as part of their salary payment, or directly into congregational accounts to pay staff. It cannot be retained.
What do staff and ministers need to do?
If they have not already done so, all people paid through the Centralised Payroll Payment Service must complete a JobKeeper nomination form/notice and send to payroll as soon as possible. Ministers must complete the new JobKeeper religious practitioner nomination notice, even if they had already completed and returned the standard JobKeeper nomination form.
Information about this requirement was circulated to Presbytery secretaries and congregational treasurers on April 24. Additional information was sent with the new religious practitioner nomination notice on May 6.
What if Congregations don’t use the Centralised Payroll Payment Service?
Congregations that do not use the CPPS and are paying staff directly will need to register through the ATO’s JobKeeper portal.
Presbytery secretaries and congregational treasurers also received information on April 24 about work being done to estimate the Synod-wide financial impact regarding the pandemic emergency. This information is required to support our application for government financial support.
Each congregation should complete and return this information if it has not already done so.
If you need further information,