On 21 July 2020 the Government announced an extension to the JobKeeper program to 28 March 2021, however to remain eligible for payments after 28 September 2020 eligibility will need to be reassessed with new eligibility requirements and a reduced payment amount per employee per fortnight. How will these changes affect you?
- On 1 March 2020 carried on a business in Australia or was a non‑profit body pursuing its objectives principally in Australia.
- An employer that had ceased trading prior to 1 March 2020, commenced after 1 March 2020, or was not pursuing its objectives in Australia at that date, is not eligible.
Additional decline in turnover tests
- To receive JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020, businesses will need to meet the basic eligibility tests and an extended decline in turnover test based on actual GST turnover.
- Fortnights between 28th September to 3rd January:
- Actual GST turnover for the September quarter fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC -registered charities/50% large business) compared to the September 2019 quarter.
- Fortnights between 4th January to 28th March:
- Actual GST turnover for the September and December quarters fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC -registered charities/50% large business) compared to the same quarters in 2019
- Alternative tests may potentially apply where a business fails these basic tests and does not have a relevant comparison period.
- Employee eligibility will remain broadly the same but the value of the payment will change from 28 September based on average weekly hours in February 2020.
- JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 are paid at a lower rate for employees who worked less than 20 hours per week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 July 2020.
- However – the employment condition has moved to the 1st July – that is, employees may be eligible if they were employed on or before that date (previously 1st March)
- Fortnights between 28th September to 3rd January – $1,200 per fortnight for workers/business participants who worked more than 20 hours on average per week, $750 for those who worked less than 20 hours.
- Fortnights between 4th January to 28th March – $1,000 per fortnight for workers/business participants who worked more than 20 hours on average per week, $650 for those who worked less than 20 hours
JobKeeper arrangements until 27 September 2020
- If your business and your employees passed the original eligibility tests to access JobKeeper, and you have fulfilled your wage requirements, you can continue to claim JobKeeper up until the last JobKeeper fortnight that ends on 27 September 2020, without reassessing your eligibility.
- The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019, in line with the Commissioner’s existing discretion.
- The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests for those situations where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during February 2020. Also, the ATO will provide guidance on how this will be dealt with when pay periods are not weekly.