As if this lockdown hasn’t already been trying enough for us all, to keep things interesting Service NSW has settled on some new rules for businesses that are receiving either JobSaver or Micro Business Grants to help determine ongoing eligibility to payments.
The reason behind this is quite simple; Service NSW is attempting to avoid the JobKeeper debacle which saw some businesses nationally make greater profits thanks to JobKeeper then they had in recent years, causing uproar when this came to light especially for larger businesses.
what do you as a business need to do?
Service NSW has implemented a reconfirmation that businesses will need to complete to keep receiving payments.
The drive to do this before the state has fully exited lockdown has been met with criticism, and accountants across the state have leaned on our membership bodies to lobby the government to change the process. They have been successful in delaying the reconfirmation process by 2 weeks and adding additional options to stay eligible – however the NSW government is quite determined, and the reconfirmation process will be going ahead.
when do you need to reconfirm your eligibility?
The timing of this will depend on what payments you are currently receiving. A business will need to reconfirm its eligibility to continue to receive:
- JobSaver Payment for the period from 13 September to 26 September 2021, or
- Micro-business Grant for the period from 20 September to 3 October 2021.
how do you need to reconfirm your eligibility?
To reconfirm you will need to log in to the same Service NSW account that you used for original application. On your Business Profile page, you should be able to see an Action required note to enter the reconfirmation process.
Here you will be asked to confirm that you have maintained your employee headcount and if your revenue is still experiencing a 30% decline.
You do not need to supply any additional documentation for this application.
how do you know if you are still eligible?
There are two key items you need to confirm: headcount and revenue decline. You will need to have details of the information entered in your application to be able to answer these questions. Unfortunately, the original application is not available to view online. However, if we gave you an accountant’s letter at the time, your revenue details and testing period can be found in that letter.
1. Headcount has the same meaning as at the time of the application:
- For the purposes of this grant, employee headcount means the number of persons who are employed in New South Wales and who are permanent [full-time or part-time], or casual staff that have been employed by the business for more than 12 months.
- If you experienced a decline in headcount due to voluntary resignation or other reasons outside your control, this is ok.
2. Revenue Decline is not as straightforward and to calculate this there are three options depending on the method chosen in your original application.
- option 1 – Rolling Comparison if your initial comparison was in 2019 or 2020
The first option if you used 2019 or 2020 as your comparison period is to continue to use that same year, but to update the fortnight to the corresponding fortnight as the current fortnight.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period is 13 September to 26 September 2019. You cannot use 13 September to 26 September 2020 as your comparison period in this example.
- option 2 – Static Comparison if your initial comparison was in 2019 or 2020
The second option if you used 2019 or 2020 as your comparison period is to continue to use the same comparison period that was in the initial application.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 26 July to 8 August 2019. This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.
- option 3 – Static Comparison if your initial comparison was in 2021
The final option applies to all businesses that used the period 12 June 2021 to 25 June 2021 as their comparison period. T, they must continue to use this period and it remains fixed for all future periods.
For example, if you initially compared the period 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 12 June to 25 June 2021, and you are now testing 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 12 June to 25 June 2021.
what do else do you need to do?
Future grant payments will only be made once reconfirmation is complete and the ongoing reporting for these grants will now be fortnightly. This means your accounts must be kept up to date. Any delays in reconciling your accounts will mean you will not be able to correctly calculate downturn and reconfirm eligibility in a timely manner. This in turn will delay any future payments made to you if eligible.
what do you do if you are not sure?
Please remember it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1900 [NSW] to provide false or misleading information to a public authority – so please ensure that you are certain about your eligibility status before completing the form.
If you are unsure or need assistance, you can contact us. Please ensure your accounts are up to date before reaching out so we can answer your questions faster if they relate to ongoing eligibility.