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JobKeeper for Pastoral/Farm Businesses

4th June 2020
The JobKeeper Payment scheme is a temporary subsidy for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligible employers, sole traders, partnerships and other entities can apply to receive $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight and meet the required criteria.

Sole traders and some other entities (eg Partnerships) may be entitled to the JobKeeper payment under the business entitlement. You will need to have an eligible business participant, this is a non-employee individual who is actively engaged in the operation of the business and is NOT employed by the entity. E.g. a partner

Where an entity conducted business or some of the business in a declared drought zone, or declared natural disaster zone, during the relevant comparison period, and this has affected the entity’s turnover during that period, there are alternative tests that would apply to ensure that those that are eligible can gain access to the subsidy. Circumstances where an alternative test may be applicable include:

  1. Your business was established after the 2019 comparison period;
  2. Your business is not the same business it was in the 2019 comparison period;
  3. Your business’s turnover has increased substantially in the past year;
  4. Your business was affected by drought or another declared natural disaster during the relevant comparison period;
  5. Your business had a large irregular variance in their turnover during the past year. This does not include cyclical or regular seasonal variance; and
  6. Your business is a sole trader or partnership and turnover has been affected by sickness, injury or leave.

If, during the relevant 2019 comparison period, your business undertook at least some of its activities in a drought declared zone or a zone that was affected by some other natural disaster (bushfire, flood etc.) you can instead compare the turnover in your chosen 2020 period to the equivalent period in the year before the drought or natural disaster was declared.

Further information is available on the ATO website:

This information is of a general nature and you are strongly recommended to seek professional advice to see if you meet the requirements and to assist with the application.