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JobKeeper 1.0 finishes on 27 September 2020 – here’s what you need to know about JobKeeper 2.0

The government has recently announced changes to Job Keeper eligibility tests that your business needs to be aware of, both in terms of the eligibility test for your business and also what you might pay your employees ( if applicable).

This infographic below from Chartered Accountants ANZ provides a great snapshot of JobKeeper 1.0 and what is now JobKeeper 2.0.

In a nutshell, JobKeeper 1.0 will remain till 27 September 2020 and thereafter, JobKeeper 2.0 will continue for a further six months till 28 March 2021. The temporary JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will be extended to 31 December 2020.

The specific changes to JobKeeper are:

The thresholds for the decline in turnover test will remain the same but now the test must be applied at several points:

    • To be eligible for the JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits must satisfy the relevant decline in turnover test for the September quarter based on actual GST turnover.
    • To be eligible for the JobKeeper payments from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, businesses and not-for-profits must satisfy the relevant decline in turnover test for the December quarter based on actual GST turnover.

 

The requirement to reassess the eligibility for the JobKeeper payments over the extension period is to ensure that only the businesses that need the most help will continue to receive the payments.

The JobKeeper payment will remain open to new recipients provided they meet the  existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.

The amount of JobKeeper payment will be tapered in the December and March quarters to encourage businesses to adjust to the new environment, supporting a gradual transition to economic recovery.

 

  • From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021:
    • Eligible employees and business participants who worked 20 hours or more a week on average in the month of February 2020 will change to $1,200 per fortnight
    • Eligible employees and business participants who worked less than 20 hours a week on average in the month of February 2020  will change to $750 per fortnight.

 

  • From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021:
    • Eligible employees and business participants who worked 20 hours or more a week on average in the month of February 2020 will change to $1,000 per fortnight
    • Eligible employees and business participants who worked less than 20 hours a week on average in the month of February 2020 – will change to $650 per fortnight.

The two-tiered payment aims to better align the payment with the incomes of employees before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 reference period.

Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee (i.e. the wage condition).

The changes are expected to be implemented through amendments to legislation and the legislative instrument, Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020

If you have any questions in relation to your business or employee eligibility, please get in contact with us.

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