Hunter Lockdown: Financial Relief for Employers


When the JobKeeper payment ended in March, there was a void in financial relief for people affected by the loss of income resulting from the Covid-19 lockdowns.


That has since been rectified through two new types of payments/subsidies: one for employees and one for employers. This blog will address the financial incentives offered to employers and how they can apply for them. Keep an eye out for our blog post on financial assistance to employees.


Unlike employees, employers are able to receive financial assistance, depending on their annual turnover. There are 2 key employer financial reliefs available from the NSW government, namely:

  • COVID-19 micro-business grant

  • JobSaver payment

COVID-19 Micro-Business Grant

The COVID-19 Micro-business grant is a fortnightly payment of $1,500 that as a rule, is only available to employers that:

  • Have an ABN as of 1 June 2021 OR primarily operate in NSW;

  • Have experienced a minimum 30% reduction in turnover as a result of Covid-19 by comparing the last 2 weeks with either the 2 weeks preceding the lockdown OR the same period in 2019/20 and;

  • Have an aggregated annual turnover between over $30,000 and under $75,000 in 2020/21 financial year

It is noted that any micro-business, sole trader, or non-for-profit organisation can apply for this grant. If you are a sole trader, you CANNOT rely on both this grant and the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payment as discussed in our other blog on employee financial relief.


Highly Impacted Businesses

You are deemed eligible for the COVID-19 micro-business grant if you are deemed to be a ‘highly' impacted business’ working in the following industries. For a list of businesses that are deemed to be ‘highly impacted’, visit this link.


As a highly impacted business, to be eligible for the grant you must:

  • Declare that you have experienced a minimum 30% decline in turnover over a 2-week period in comparison to the 2 weeks prior to the lockdown commencing, OR; over the same period in 2019 OR 2020

  • Get a letter from a qualified accountant OR a business bank statement (that is separate from a personal account) OR an Australian income tax return showing that you had an aggregated annual turnover more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 in the 2019/20 financial year.

Other Businesses

If you are not a ‘highly impacted business’ as highlighted above, you are still eligible for this grant. with the only difference being that you must show proof of a 30% reduction in turnover not limited to a:

  • a letter from a qualified accountant OR a business bank statement (that is separate from a personal account) noting that due to the lockdown, you have experienced a minimum 30% decline in turnover over a 2-week period in comparison to the 2 weeks prior to the lockdown commencing, OR; over the same period in 2019 OR 2020


Now you know the eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 micro-business grant, you can apply for it via Service NSW here.


JobSaver Payment

The JobSaver payment is a fortnightly payment for businesses and not-for-profit organisations that is aimed at helping you to maintain your employees that you had on the 13th of July 2021, albeit with some exceptions. This payment depends on your annual turnover in the 2019/2020 annual year. As a result, the payment will be capped at approximately 40% of the weekly payroll in which the minimum payment is $1,500 per week and the maximum payment received will be $100,000 per

week. It is also noted that if you do not have any employees, you will receive $1,000 per week.


To be eligible for this initiative, as a general rule, you must:

  • have an ABN AND be operating in NSW as of 1 June 2021;

  • have an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $250 million in the 2020/21 financial year;

  • have experienced a minimum 30% decline in turnover over a 2-week period in comparison to:

o the 2 weeks prior to the lockdown commencing, OR;

o the same period in 2019 OR 2020

  • Either:

o Maintain the same employee headcount from the 13 th of July 2021 while you are receiving JobSaver payments, OR;

o If you do not have employees due to being a sole trader, etc., show that the business is the primary source. NOTE – you can only claim payments for ONE business if you have more than one business.


‘Highly Impacted Businesses’ applying for $1,500-$10,000/week

Further to the general eligibility criteria for the JobSaver payment, to receive a between $1,500-$10,000 per week, you must be a ‘Highly Impacted Business’ (see here for a list of what is deemed to be a ‘Highly Impacted Business’) as well as the following:

  • Submit an Australian Income Tax Return or similar documents proving that your business had an annual aggregated turnover between $75,000-$250 million in the 2019/20 financial year;

  • Declare employee headcount as of 13 th of July and notify Service NSW if employee headcount declines over the payment period;

  • Provide details of your qualified accountant for the purpose of compliance checking;

  • Provide evidence of how weekly payroll was calculated AND:

o If submitting a Business Activity Statement (BAS) WITH a W1 amount, the most recent BAS provided to the ATO prior to 26 June in 2020-2021 financial year

o If submitting a Business Activity Statement (BAS) WITHOUT a W1 amount:

- 2019-20 NSW payroll tax reconciliation return AND;


- copies of the payroll report/s filed with the ATO using single touch payroll that removes all personally identifiable information. It is noted that the single touch payrolls report should include: the effective date, branch ID, submission ID, event Type, gross payments, and PAYGW. 


o If not submitting a BAS, copies of the payroll report/s filed with the ATO using single touch payroll that removes all personally identifiable information. It is noted that the single touch payrolls report should include: the effective date, branch ID, submission ID, event type, gross payments and PAYGW. 


Applying for more than $10,000/week

If you are either a ‘highly impacted business’ seeking more than $10k/week or either not deemed a ‘highly impacted business’ as highlighted above, you are still eligible for this grant. with the only difference being that you must show proof of a 30% reduction in turnover not limited to a:

  • a letter from a qualified accountant OR a business bank statement (that is separate from a personal account) noting that due to the lockdown, you have experienced a minimum 30% decline in turnover over a 2-week period in comparison to:

o the 2 weeks prior to the lockdown commencing, OR;

o the same period in 2019 OR 2020


You can apply for JobSaver via Service NSW here.


Karen Ansen Consulting is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation, or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances.


Karen Ansen Consulting is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this website.