JobKeeper employee forms: To sign or not to sign?
Many members in Catholic schools have been supplied with, and asked to sign, a JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice as matter of urgency. This only applies to Catholic schools which have been deemed to be eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme.
The JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice is an approved Australian Government/ATO form so it is legitimate. You can read more about that here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/JobKeeper-payment—employee-nomination-notice/
If you have not been asked by your Catholic school to sign, it will be because they do not qualify for the JobKeeper Scheme, so they are not required to do anything or submit anything.
Up until now, the IEU did not have evidence suggesting that schools could demonstrate the 30% drop in income to be eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme. The Catholic Church Endowment Society has received advice that some 60 of its schools are eligible.
The IEU has no reason to doubt the soundness of the advice given to the employers.
Broadly speaking, it is in the members’ and schools’ interests for members to sign the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice in Catholic schools. Please act within the indicated timeframes.
Congregational schools are not a part of this advice but are likely to have undertaken a similar eligibility exercise. It will pay to ask.
This advice does not apply to members in Independent or Lutheran schools as their JobKeeper eligibilities have not been clarified with the IEU.
Schools joining the scheme may have access to additional powers to stand down employees, but as the schools have already been implementing stand downs and are now likely to reverse them, the risk is not current. I am happy to accept the Director’s assurances that this will not occur.
The upside of joining the JobKeeper Scheme would be:
- Maintain salaries of people who were (or would be) stood down with no pay at a minimum of $1500 per fortnight
- There is no impact if the school was not eligible
- It could support school budgets even if they could maintain the salary outlay
- It could prevent further stand downs
- It could lead to the early rescinding of stand downs as the number of students returning to schools increase
IEU assurances to Catholic schools and employees:
- We will not stand in the way of the Catholic schools’ participation in the JobKeeper Scheme
- We will be monitoring and insisting on the government-prescribed sanitation and safety regime in schools
- We will be following up on accommodation of employment conditions for vulnerable workers
Note this does not mean that in the non-Catholic sector that such initiatives are valid or acceptable.