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Generally, a commonly owned group (group) of businesses is one where each business has the same owners. It does not matter whether those owners have the same proportion of ownership in each business. 

A business may also be treated as being in the group if it is part of a larger group of businesses. For example: 

  • The group has a dominating shareholder or group of shareholders, and the businesses operate together as if they were one. 
  • The group of businesses involves a complex ownership structure where the overall control is centralised and businesses are in substance one enterprise. 

Eligibility for the COVID-19 support payment (CSP) 

Each business or organisation in the group was eligible for CSP if, as well as meeting the other eligibility criteria, they and the group as a whole have experienced a 40% drop in revenue due to one or more COVID-19 circumstances.  

If a member of the group was eligible for the CSP, they needed to calculate their number of full-time employees (FTEs) - up to 50 FTEs. 

The member could claim for the employees that regularly worked for them. In some groups, most or all employees of the group are employed by one member of the group but may regularly work for another member(s) of the group. In these cases, the member may count an employee of another member of the group as their own employee if that employee regularly works for them. 

For a CSP an employee could be considered to 'regularly work' for the member if, in a typical 4-weeks, the employee worked at least, either: 

  • 2 calendar days for the member each week
  • 5 calendar days for the member in a single week. 

The group member should count the number of calendar days that the employee worked for them.

  • 2 shifts for the same member of the group in one day counts as only 1 day (for example, a split shift). 
  • If the duration of a shift spans multiple calendar days, only the 1st calendar day can be counted.

This calculation is for each group member. If an employee worked 2 shifts in 1 calendar day, and each shift is for a separate member, then each member could count that same calendar day towards this calculation. A member could count an employee that worked a partial day towards the calculation. 

There may also be other circumstances where an employee 'regularly works' for the member. For CSP purposes, a member could use any reasonable method to work out whether an employee regularly worked for them - based on the actual day-to-day working arrangements that the member had with their workers. The member needs to keep a record of the method they use. We may ask for this record as part of a review of the CSP. 

To work out whether an employee that 'regularly works' for the member is either a full-time equivalent worker or a part-time equivalent worker, the member may only count the hours the employee regularly worked for them (for example, if the employee regularly worked 20 or more hours per week for the member they will be a full-time equivalent worker of the member). 

If the employee worked an irregular number of hours from week to week, the member should use the average number of hours the employee worked for them each week to work out whether the employee is a 'full-time equivalent' worker. 

The maximum payment cap of 50 full-time employees (FTEs) still applied to each group member (the low revenue cap also applied). All other eligibility criteria still applied.

Employees for the purposes of the COVID-19 Support Payment (CSP)

Example: Commonly owned groups

Daniel and Jordan are the shareholders in 2 building companies, Mario’s Builders and Luigi’s Building Services. Daniel is a 60% shareholder in Mario’s Builders and Jordan is a 40% shareholder in Mario’s Builders. 

For Luigi’s Building Services, Daniel is a 20% shareholder and Jordan is an 80% shareholder. As the 2 companies have the same shareholders, they are a commonly owned group. 

Mario’s Builders and Luigi’s Building Services can apply separately for a CSP. Each company should include all of their employees in their application. The 40% drop in revenue must be a result of one or more of the COVID-19 circumstances and is required to be satisfied at both the applicant level and across the commonly owned group as a whole. 

Last updated: 25 Feb 2022
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