Having access to schemes like the wage subsidy are attractive for businesses in a tightening economy, but the extra administration is never ideal.

With the mid-year change from jobactive to Workforce Australia program, we thought we’d include a bit of a recap on the current process to access this great incentive.

Even if you use a registered tax or BAS agent, you can still use Online Services for Business to claim wage subsidies, by following the steps below.

Firstly, whomever is claiming wage subsidies for business will need to use their myGov ID. Users need a smart phone, email address and to be over 15yrs old – but of most importance is having strong identify strength – not a basic or standard identity.

For a strong identity strength, you need to enter your personal details and verify the following Australian identity documents (your name must match on all): passport (not more than three years expired), and one of the following - birth certificate, citizenship certificate, driver’s licence (including learner’s permit) or Medicare card.

You also need to complete a face verification check. This is a one-off scan that checks that you’re a real person, the right person and verifying in real-time. It’s like a selfie which is compared to the photograph on your passport. There are directions online to help if you get stuck – for example, if you were born overseas and you’re running a business on a permanent residency visa.

The next step to access and use most government online services on behalf of a business, is to link your myGovID and the Australian business number (ABN) to the Workforce Australia portal using the Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

To link your business online, you must have:

  • either be a sole trader or eligible individual associate
  • have an Australian passport – it can be up to 3 years expired
  • Have a MyGov ID with a strong identity strength.

You then:

  • log in to RAM
  • select Link my business – you’ll be redirected to the ATO to find your business or businesses
  • add your personal postal or residential address (as held by the ATO) and select Continue
  • select the business or businesses you want to link and select Continueif you can’t find your business, check and update your ABR details
  • enter an email address (this can be different to the one used to set up your Digital Identity) and select Send email to receive a verification code
  • enter the verification code and select Verify and Continue
  • view the summary of the selected business or businesses and select the checkbox to declare you understand and accept, then select Submit
  • a message will display confirming your business is successfully linked – then select Continue.

You’ll be authorised in RAM to act on behalf of the business.

Use can also use RAM to authorise others to act on behalf of your business, for example, if you have employees who need to access Online Services for Business. Before you authorise employees, check they have set up their own strong identity myGovID.

Here’s a great video recapping these steps.

NB: If you’re unable to link online, there are other ways you can link your business

It’s really important that the right ABN registered to their myGov ID is the one provided to Employment Plus for wage subsidies. Often organisations will run multiple ABNs, but it’s essential the right one is attached to the specific employment agreement.

Once signed into your Workforce Australia account you can go to your wage subsidies to approve agreements, find and search all your agreements, claim a wage subsidy payment and update your details.

You can find your wage subsidy agreements in a few places on your dashboard:

  • in the ‘Reminder’ section, use the ‘Review agreement/s’ button
  • via the ‘wage subsides’ link in your account menu,
  • or when you enter into a new wage subsidy agreement, you can use the link in the email sent to you by your provider to go to that wage subsidy on Workforce Australia.

Wage subsidy agreements are in two parts:

  • Head agreement: A head agreement is set up when you approve your first wage subsidy with a provider. This will only happen once with each provider you access wage subsidies through. Your agreement has general terms and conditions that are essential to understand in order to receive your wage subsidy payments.
  • Agreement schedule: The agreement schedule is set up for each individual employee for whom you have negotiated a wage subsidy to support their employment. It has details of your new employee and specific terms related to their job.

Each agreement has a status depending on whether it requires signing (awaiting approval), is approved or has ended.

You can enter into agreements for wage subsidies with more than one provider through Workforce Australia and they will all be available via your dashboard for you to manage.