JobKeeper Wage Subsidy – MTS Apprentices

Under the Australian Government JobKeeper Wage Subsidy package, employers impacted by COVID-19 are able to access a subsidy from the Federal Government to assist with continue paying their employees.
Eligible employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

The ATO have provided the following guidance on the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy scheme : JOB KEEPER WAGE SUBSIDY – ATO GUIDELINES


Eligible Employers

The key eligibility criteria for employers to receive JobKeeper Wage Subsidy payments are that;

  • The employer has at least one eligible employee earning more than $1500 per fortnight before tax, and
  • The employer has experienced a reduction in turnover in 2020 compared to 2019 of more than 30% for businesses with turnover of less than $1 billion and more than 15% for Charities / Not For Profits organisations.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees are those employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired),
  • are currently paid a minimum of $1500 per fortnight before tax,
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020,
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020),
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.


How are MTS Apprentices Affected by the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy?

An eligible employer may claim JobKeeper Wage Subsidy for the number of ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES they had employed at 01 March 2020.

MTS Apprentices who are officially employed by the church or ministry where they are training MAY be counted as an eligible employee.
This includes MTS Curriculum Apprentices and FWA (Fair Work Australia) Apprentices.
An eligible Church or Ministry may claim the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy on behalf of MTS Curriculum Apprentices and FWA Apprentices that they employ.

However, MTS Scholarship Apprentices are NOT employed by the Church or ministry where they are training.
MTS Scholarship Apprentices are NOT employed by MTS either.  MTS Apprentices are officially a ‘scholar’ or ‘student’.
As a result, MTS Scholarship Apprentices CANNOT be counted as eligible employees for the purpose of JobKeeper wage subsidy claims.
A church or ministry CANNOT claim the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy on behalf of an MTS Scholarship Apprentice.