(updated 14th Aug 2020)
On 7 August 2020 the Treasurer revealed that the recently announced tougher eligibility rules for the second phase of the JobKeeper payment scheme will be eased. Employers will now only have to demonstrate a reduction in turnover in the quarters ending in September and December 2020, compared to the same periods last year. From 3 August 2020, the test date of employment will also move from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020.
Eligibility for extension made easier
On 21 July 2020, the Federal Government announced the extension of the JobKeeper payment scheme (previously due to expire on 27 September 2020) until 28 March 2021 but with reduced rates and reapplication of the turnover tests requiring employers to show a fall in turnover in all the quarters since June 2020.
On 7 August 2020, in light of the lockdown in Victoria commencing on 2nd August 2020, further changes were announced to make it easier for employers to qualify for the JobKeeper payment scheme extension from 28 September 2020 and adjust the reference date for employee eligibility. Please view the updated fact sheets on the Treasury website and the ATO JobKeeper Page.
There are two main changes
- Relaxed turnover test. To qualify for JobKeeper in the December quarter businesses will only need to demonstrate a decline in the September quarter and not the June and September quarter as previously announced. This means that businesses that had experienced a rebound before the stage 4 restrictions won’t be penalised.
- More employees eligible. From 3rd Aug (JobKeeper Fortnight 10) workers employed as at 1 July 2020 may now be eligible for JobKeeper. You must now re-assess all full-time/part-time and long-term casual workers employed prior to 1st July 2020 and present those eligible with an Employee Nomination Notice. For those new eligible employees you must ensure the minimum wage requirements are met. The ATO have announced a grace period, so you have until the 31st Aug to top-up.
Turnover comparison periods
Businesses and not-for-profits must reapply and satisfy the turnover tests from 28 September 2020 and again on 4 January 2021 by demonstrating that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover).
To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 employers must reassess their eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover in the September quarter 2020 compared to the actual GST in the September quarter in 2019. In the 21 July announcement, the employer also had to show that they passed the relevant decline in turnover in June 2020 quarter. This additional test is no longer required.
To be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 reassessment of eligibility will be in reference to actual GST turnover in the December quarter 2020 compared to the actual GST in the December quarter in 2019. In the 21 July announcement, the employer also had to show that they passed the relevant decline in turnover in both the June and September 2020 quarters. This additional test is no longer required.
Date of employment to be expanded
From 3 August 2020, the relevant date of employment will move from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension. The other conditions for eligibility of employees have not changed
An eligible employee is an employee who:
- is currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
- is employed either as a; full-time or part-time employee, or a casual employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 July 2020
- were aged 18 years or older at 1 July 2020 (if they were 16 or 17 they can also qualify if they are independent or not undertaking full time study);
- were either an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991); or an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020; and
- is not in receipt of any of the following payments during the JobKeeper fortnight: government parental leave; or a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law.
To learn more about your eligibility for JobKeeper and support with your application, please reach out to us should you require our assistance.