Tag: JobKeeper changes

JobKeeper Extension – Almost Here!

With the JobKeeper extension commencing in two weeks, we provide the latest publically available information –  

Extension from 28 September 2020 

The original JobKeeper scheme finishes on 27 September 2020. 

In good news for employers, the Government then announced that the scheme will be extended from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021. 

There are two separate extension periods. For each extension period, an additional actual fall in turnover test applies and the rate of the JobKeeper payment is different. 

Alternative tests for determining turnover and payment rates may be available in some circumstances but at the time of writing are yet to be published. We will notify you of these as they come to hand. 

Extension 1 

This extension period runs from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. 

You will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen by the following percentages= in the September 2020 quarter (July, August, September) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019) 

  • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less) 
  • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or 
  • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools). 

The payment rates of the JobKeeper Payment in this extension period are:  

  • Tier 1: $1,200 per fortnight (before tax) 
  • Tier 2: $750 per fortnight (before tax). 

Rates of Payment 

The rate of the JobKeeper Payment will depend on the number of hours an eligible employee works or on the other hand the number of hours an eligible business participant is actively engaged in the business. 

It will be split into two rates as follows: 

 

TIER 1 RATE

 

TIER 2 RATE

 

This applies to

  • eligible employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and
  • eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February and provide a declaration to that effect.

 

 

This rate is expected to apply to any other eligible employees and eligible business participants.

 

 

Employers and businesses will need to nominate the rate they are claiming for each eligible employee and/or eligible business participant.  

Extension 2 

This extension period will run from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021. 

You will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen in the December 2020 quarter (October, November, December) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019). 

You can be eligible for JobKeeper Extension 2 even if you were not eligible for JobKeeper Extension 1.  

The rates of the JobKeeper Payment in this extension period are: 

  • Tier 1: $1,000 per fortnight (before tax) 
  • Tier 2: $650 per fortnight (before tax). 


What Employers Need to do 

From 28 September 2020, employers must do all of the following: 

  • work out if the Tier 1 or Tier 2 rate applies to each of your eligible employees and/or eligible business participants and/or eligible religious practitioners 
  • notify the Commissioner and your eligible employees and/or eligible business participants and/or eligible religious practitioners what payment rate applies to them; and 
  • during JobKeeper Extension 1, ensure your eligible employees are paid at least
    • $1,200 per fortnight for Tier 1 employees  
    • $750 per fortnight for Tier 2 employees 
  • during JobKeeper Extension 2, ensure your eligible employees are paid at least 
    • $1,000 per fortnight for Tier 1 employees 
    • $650 per fortnight for Tier 2 employees. 

 

For your eligible religious practitioners, you must provide certain benefits to them in the fortnight. 

If you are registered for GST and have outstanding BAS statements, you should lodge your BAS for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters as soon as possible (or for equivalent months, if you report monthly). 

Fall In Turnover 

To claim for fortnights in the JobKeeper Extension 1, you need to determine if you satisfy the actual fall in turnover test for the September 2020 quarter, you must calculate your GST turnover for the quarter of September 2019 and September 2020. 

For many businesses registered for GST, this calculation will match the ‘total sales’ reported at G1 on your BAS minus GST payable (1A), where applicable. 

You can provide additional turnover information to demonstrate that you satisfy the actual fall in turnover test for the September quarter from the start of October onwards. You must provide it before you complete your November monthly declaration. 

What Doesn’t Change? 

To claim for fortnights in the JobKeeper Extension 1 or 2: 

  • You don’t need to re-enrol for the JobKeeper extension if you are already enrolled for JobKeeper for fortnights before 28 September. 
  • You don’t need to reassess employee eligibility or ask employees to agree to be nominated by you as their eligible employer if you are already claiming for them before 28 September. 
  • You don’t need to meet any further requirements if you are claiming for an eligible business participant, other than those that applied from the start of JobKeeper relating to:
    • holding an ABN, and 
    • declaring assessable income and supplies. 

 

JobKeeper 2.0 – Passes Parliament!

The JobKeeper 2.0 legislation has just passed both houses of Parliament, and is now law (subject to the formality of Royal Assent). This legislation enables the Treasurer to draft a legislative instrument setting out the key changes to the scheme as follows: 

Employer Eligibility 

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper will be required to re-assess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover in the September quarter 2020 (rather than the June and September quarters). Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in this quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. 


Businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their eligibility in January 2021 for the period from 4 January to 28 March 2021. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in the December quarter 2020 (rather than each of the June, September and December quarters) to remain eligible for the period to 28 March 2021 (the March quarter). 

Payment Rates 

The payment rates have been pared back and will now depend upon the hours worked by an employee. 

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be: 

  • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working in the business or not for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; 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 who were working in the business or not for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and 
• $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants 

Employee Eligibilty 

  • Employees that meet the eligibility requirements can now be nominated by a new employer if their original employment with a JobKeeper employer ended before 1 July 2020 
  • As of 3 August 2020, the key date for assessing employee eligibility is now 1 July 2020 (not 1 March 2020) 
  • For the fortnights commencing on 3 and 17 August 2020, employers had until 31 August 2020 to meet the wage condition for newly-eligible employees under the revamped 1 July eligibility test. 

JobKeeper Changes – Employment Start Date and Amendment to Turnover Test

On 7 August, the government announced two further changes to the JobKeeper program. Firstly, employees hired as at 1 July 2020 may also be eligible to receive JobKeeper. Secondly, employer turnover eligibility for the revised JobKeeper scheme to commence on 28 September 2020 will be based on a single quarter tax period (rather than multiple quarters as previously announced). 

  1. Employee Change 

Before this change, an eligible employee had to, among other things, be employed as at 1 March 2020 to qualify for JobKeeper. Additionally, where they were a casual at that date, they had to have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020. 

The 7 August 2020 announcement changes that reference point to 1 July 2020, with effect to all JobKeeper fortnights commencing on or after 3 August 2020 – which means it impacts the last four fortnights of the original JobKeeper scheme. 

Noting that the “one-in, all-in” principle still applies to the 1 July changes, employers should consider which employees are now eligible to bring into the JobKeeper scheme, including: 

  • full-time or part-time employees employed after 1 March 2020 but on or before 1 July 2020; 
  • employees who may have joined the business after 1 March 2020 but are currently stood down 
  • casual employees employed at 1 July 2020 who commenced their casual employment before 1 July 2019. 
  • employees who may not have met the age condition as at 1 March 2020, but do as at 1 July 2020 
  • employees who may not have met the residency condition as at 1 March 2020, but do as at 1 July 2020 
  1. Employer Turnover Change 

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper will be required to re-assess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover in the September quarter 2020 (rather than the June and September quarters). Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in this quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. 

Businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their eligibility in January 2021 for the period from 4 January to 28 March 2021. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in the December quarter 2020 (rather than each of the June, September and December quarters) to remain eligible for the period to 28 March 2021 (the March quarter). 

Further Consequent Change 

This amendment, announced on Friday 14 August, accommodates the employee eligibility change on 7 August (above). 

With the key date for assessing which employees are eligible for JobKeeper now 1 July 2020, rather than 1 March 2020, the ATO states that employers should start paying new eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight from  JobKeeper fortnight 10, which commenced on 3 August. To accommodate what may be a cashflow issue brought about by this change, for the fortnights commencing on 3 August 2020 and 17 August 2020, the ATO is allowing employers until 31 August 2020 to meet this wage condition for all new eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme under the new 1 July eligibility test.