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The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No.2) Bill 2021 (the Bill) was enacted on 13 September 2021 and requires that listed entities disclose the amount of JobKeeper payments they (and their subsidiaries) received and (if any) how much they returned for each financial year.

The information is disclosed in a notice to the market operator and is due for lodgement by 13 November 2021 for listed entities that had already lodged their financial reports on or before 14 September 2021. For those listed entities that did not lodge their financial reports by 14 September 2021, the notice needs to be lodged within 60 days from when the financial report is lodged.

The notice must be lodged with the relevant market operator to comply with section 323DB of the Corporations Act 2001. Although not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged listed entities use the notice template available from the ASIC website.

ASIC will then be required to prepare a consolidated report based on information provided by the listed entities in their notices If a listed entity wants to explain differences between what is disclosed in the financial report and notice, then it should do so through a separate announcement to its market operator.

What are the reporting requirements?

Who is impacted?

The Bill requires a listed entity to give a notice to the market operator (the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) or another prescribed financial market operator in Australia) where the listed entity (or one of its subsidiaries) received a JobKeeper payment for a financial year.

This means an entity listed on a prescribed financial market in Australia, that received (directly or through a subsidiary) JobKeeper payments are caught by these reporting requirements. Entities that are listed on overseas financial markets, but not listed on a prescribed financial market in Australia, who have unlisted subsidiaries with operations in Australia are not impacted by the reporting requirement based on our understanding of the definition of a “listed entity”.

What is lodged?

The Bill outlines a notice is to be lodged where the listed entity has received a JobKeeper payment for a financial year. Where a listed entity received JobKeeper payments across multiple financial years, the entity would need to include information in the notice for each financial year the JobKeeper payment had been received. A template for the notice is available from the ASIC website. The template is not mandatory but the ASX has asked listed entities to use the template notice when providing the required information.

A template for the notice is available from the ASIC website. The template is not mandatory but listed entities are strongly encouraged to use the template notice when providing the required information which will help ensure that a notice contains the required information to comply with section 323DB of the Corporations Act 2001.

What needs to be disclosed

The Bill outlines specific information the listed entity must disclose in the JobKeeper notice:
  • the number of employees in respect of whom the listed entity and its subsidiaries received a JobKeeper payment for a fortnight within that financial year;
  • the total amount of JobKeeper payments received in the financial year; and
  • whether or not the listed entity or a subsidiary of the entity has made one or more voluntary repayments (whether or not in the financial year the JobKeeper payments were received). If repayments were made, the total amount of any voluntary JobKeeper repayments that the listed entity and its subsidiaries made during the financial year.

Listed entities should ensure that JobKeeper payments received by subsidiaries are reported for the period that subsidiaries are controlled (for example, if a disposal occurred during the year, only JobKeeper payments to a subsidiary prior to its disposal would be reported).

ASIC has published a list of FAQs on Disclosures by listed entities about jobkeeper requirements.

What is the lodgement date?

Where the listed entity has not yet lodged its financial report for the year which it received a JobKeeper payment before 14 September 2021, the listed entity would have to give the notice to the market operator within 60 days of lodging its report for the financial year with the ASIC.

Where the listed entity has already lodged its financial report for a year in which it received a JobKeeper payment before 14 September 2021, it would have to give the notice to the market operator by 13 November 2021.

How is this different to what’s in the financial report?

Many listed entities have included JobKeeper payment amounts and other related information within their financial report. The financial report would recognise JobKeeper payments on an accruals basis, whereas the notice requires disclosure of JobKeeper payments actually received. If a listed entity wants to explain differences between what is disclosed in the financial report and notice, then it should do so through a separate announcement to its market operator.

  

Many listed entities have already provided JobKeeper payment information in their financial reports. Based on a review of existing disclosures by the top ASX100[1] listed entities that have lodged financial statements for the June 2021 reporting period, 18 percent have disclosed receipt of Jobkeeper payments. Of these companies, 47 percent fully or partially voluntarily repaid JobKeeper payments received, and 53 percent did not return any JobKeeper payments. Whilst these disclosures have provided some information on JobKeeper payments ,the new reporting requirements will provide clear and comparable information across listed entities, including allowing easy comparisons to profitability and executive remuneration. This level of transparency will allow the public to assess if the objectives of the JobKeeper program were met.

Kim Heng
Partner
Department of Professional Practice

[1]Five of the top ASX100 companies FY21 annual reports have not yet been released therefore excluded from these findings.



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Learn more about the disclosure requirements surrounding JobKeeper payments for listed entities in our reporting update.



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