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Ensure you have the right payroll set-up to claim JobKeeper payments

To ensure you don’t miss out on the first JobKeeper payments, you must have the correct payroll wage categories set up. Any deviations from this exact description may significantly delay or prevent reimbursement from the ATO.  Before you start the setup we would recommend that you review the guidance from your payroll software provider together with the latest ATO guidance.  The information below can assist you with your planning process as you start.

Make sure you name these wage categories exactly as described. The names have been defined by the ATO to ensure they’re accepted for Single Touch Payroll reporting.


JOBKEEPER-TOPUP This is for employees earning less than the JobKeeper payment amount, or they’ve been stood down, who must be paid a top up to bring their taxable gross to $1,500 per fortnight.  The amount included in this allowance is just the top up amount itself.
JOBKEEPER-START-FN This is for all employees to let the ATO know when you’ve started paying an employee JobKeeper payments.  The allowance should be reported as zero, as this allowance is just to notify the commencement fortnight of the allowance.
JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FN This is only required if you’ll stop paying an employee before the JobKeeper scheme finishes.


Descriptions must be reported in the Allowance Type Description item e.g. JOBKEEPER-TOPUP or JOBKEEPER-START-FNxx where “xx” refers to the fortnightly periods from which the payment first started. To indicate any exit of eligibility or termination of the employee, report the Other Allowance Type Description as  exactly: JOBKEEPER-FINISH-FNxx where “xx” refers to the final fortnightly period to which the payment applies.

The amount that you’ll need to pay (before tax) depends on each employee’s scenario. If an employee is:

  • Being paid less than the JobKeeper payment – Pay them the full JobKeeper payment. This means you’ll pay them in the same way you currently do, plus you’ll pay them a top up to bring their taxable gross up to the JobKeeper payment amount. You can choose whether or not to pay superannuation on the top up amount. Leave entitlements will accrue on salary earned, but not on the JobKeeper top up.
  • Being paid more than the JobKeeper payment – Pay them in the same way you currently do.
  • Stood down (still employed but not working) – Pay them the full JobKeeper payment. You can choose whether or not to pay superannuation on this payment.


Payment amounts

Pay frequency JobKeeper payment amount Calculation
Weekly $750 1,500 / 2
Fortnightly $1,500 1,500 X 1
Twice a Month $1,625 1,500 X 26 / 24
Monthly $3,250 1,500 X 26 / 12


If you’re not paying super on JobKeeper topup payments, you need to ‘exempt’ it in your payroll system to stop it from accruing super.

For more detailed payroll instructions, you can visit:

How we can help

To find out more on the JobKeeper Payment, contact your local William Buck Tax Services specialists.