JOBKEEPER 2.0 – What does it mean?

The government has announced an extension of JobKeeper, along with changes to the current employee eligibility rules.

You can find full details of the announcement here.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES – IMPORTANT CHANGE TAKING EFFECT IMMEDIATELY

The government has made a change to the rules around employee eligibility. For the JobKeeper fortnight starting on 3 August 2020, the date employees must meet the eligibility rules has changed to 1 July 2020 (previously 1 March 2020). This may now mean that employees who were not previously eligible will now be covered.

If this is the case, you would need to make any top-up payments to these employees for the current fortnight ending 16 August 2020 by this date.

The other employee eligibility rules apply, as at 1 July 2020 they must:

·         Be employed by the employer

·         Were either:

o   Full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee

o   Long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.

·         Be aged 18 years or older at 1 July 2020

·         Be an Australian resident or an Australian resident for Income Tax purposes and the holder of a Subclass 444 visa.

·         Not be in receipt of parental leave or Dad and partner paid or in receipt of workers compensation payments.

FROM 28 SEPTEMBER 2020 (for period of 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021):

To be eligible, the entity must be able to demonstrate that it has incurred a fall in turnover (as per below) for the quarter ended 30 September 2020. This time the test is solely based on ACTUAL GST turnover and no projections can be used.

The basic test compares the current year quarter vs the same quarter of the previous year.

·         Business with aggregated turnover under $1 billion, must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 30% or more

·         Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 15% or more

JobKeeper Payment Rate

The payment rates will be adjusted to the following amounts:

·         $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average

·         $1,200 per fortnight for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average

·         $750 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

FROM 4 JANUARY 2021 (for period of 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021):

To be eligible, the entity must be able to demonstrate that it has incurred a fall in turnover (as per below) for the quarters ended 30 September 2020 and 31 December 2020. Again, the test is solely based on ACTUAL GST turnover and no projections can be used.

The basic test compares the current year quarter vs the same quarter of the previous year.

·         Business with aggregated turnover under $1 billion, must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 30% or more

·         Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 15% or more

JobKeeper Payment Rate

The payment rates will be adjusted to the following amounts:

·         $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average

·         $1,000 per fortnight for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average

·         $650 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

ALTERNATIVE TESTS:

The government has advised that as with the initial application, there will be a series of alternative tests available for businesses who either did not trade in the comparison period, or that the comparison figures are not appropriate for certain reasons.

There will also be discretion available where an employee’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 or June 2020 test period in determining whether they worked 20 hours or more per week (to claim the higher rate of payment outlined above). We still await further details on this.

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