Job Keeper has been extended by the Federal Government to continue past the original end date in September and provide wage subsidy to business' who continue to be affected by COVID-19. The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.
Here's what stays and here's what changes:
What are the changes?
The Federal Government intend to taper off the payments in the 6 months following end of September (the original end date for Job Keeper). Two tiers of payments have been introduced depending on how many hours per week an employee worked in the four weeks prior to 1 March 2020. This may result in a reduction to what certain part-time employees can receive.
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be: [Source: Saward Dawson]
- $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees and business participants who satisfy the criteria of working 20 hours or more per week in the relevant period; and
- $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
- $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees and business participants who satisfy the criteria of working 20 hours or more per week in the relevant period; and
- $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
Businesses will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their employees
The Test Period
New test periods have been introduced to extend Job Keeper to businesses that are continually experiencing financial hardship. This may mean if you were previously eligible for JobKeeper, you may be ineligible going forward.
The tests will now be as follows: [Source: Saward Dawson]
- For the first JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, actual GST turnover will need to meet the relevant decline in turnover tests in both the June quarter 2020 and the September quarter 2020 relative to comparable periods in the prior year (alternative tests will still be available).
- For the second JobKeeper Payment extension period of 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, actual GST turnover will need to meet the relevant decline in turnover tests in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods in the prior year
The ATO will allow time between you determining your eligibility and paying your employees the Job Keeper amount each month/fortnight.
What is staying?
Eligible Employer Requirements
Employers, including Not-for-profits (NFPs) will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply: [Source: Saward Dawson]
- On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
- You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
- Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
- You satisfy the decline in turnover test (see below)
- The entity is not:
- subject to the Major Bank Levy,
- an Australian government agency,
- a local governing body
- wholly owned by an Australian government agency or local governing body
- a sovereign entity
- a company in liquidation
- an individual who has entered bankruptcy
Decline in Turnover Test
To be an eligible employer, a business must show that it has faced a
- 30% fall in GST turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
Where a business was not in operation a year earlier, or where the year earlier was not representative of their usual or average turnover, an alternate test may be used.
This remains as per the first round of Job Keeper. If you are unsure of this head to the ATO website here
More information is also available at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension