The current JobKeeper scheme remains in place, as originally advised, until 27 September 2020.
JobKeeper 2.0 was introduced on 21 July 2020 to extend the JobKeeper payment to 28 March 2021 (see https://www.tjnaccountants.com.au/jobkeeper-2-0/)
Further changes were announced on 7 August 2020 to make it easier for organisations to qualify for the JobKeeper payment extension from 28 September 2020. The changes also expand employee eligibility for JobKeeper.
December 2020 quarter payments - JobKeeper 2.0
The decline in turnover is calculated by reference to the actual GST turnover for the relevant quarter.
(Under the original JobKeeper 2.0 eligibility criteria, businesses had to have a decline of 30% or more for both the June and September quarters).
Fortnightly payment rate
If your business meets the eligibility criteria for the December 2020 quarter JobKeeper payments, the payment rates are as follows:
- $1,200 per fortnight for employees that worked (on average) 20 hours per week (or business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week);
- $750 per fortnight for employees that worked (on average) less than 20 hours per week in February 2020 (or business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week).
March 2021 quarter payments - JobKeeper 2.0
- a decline in their actual turnover of 30% or more for the September 2020 quarter (compared to September 2019 quarter); AND
- a decline in their actual turnover of 30% or more for the December 2020 quarter (compared to December 2019 quarter).
Fortnightly payment rate
If your business meets the eligibility criteria for the March 2021 quarter JobKeeper payments, the payment rates are as follows:
- $1,000 per fortnight for employees that worked (on average) 20 hours or more per week (or business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week);
- $650 per fortnight for employees that worked (on average) less than 20 hours per week in February 2020 (or business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week).
From 3 August 2020, the reference date for assessing which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper payment is now 1 July 2020. This will increase the employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extended JobKeeper scheme.
The reference period for employees regarding their hours worked (to determine their tier of JobKeeper payment) will be the two fortnightly pay periods prior to 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020. The period with the higher number of hours is used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.
The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February and/or June 2020 reference period.
In summary, employees are eligible in the extension period if they satisfy all of the following conditions:
- are currently employed by an eligible employer;
- for the eligible employer they were either:
- Full time, part-time or fixed-term employee as at 1 July 2020; or
- A long-term casual employee (employed on a regular or systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
- were aged 18 years or older as at 1 July 2020 (if you were 16 or 17 you can also qualify if you are independent or not undertaking full time study);
- were an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act or the Income Tax Assessment Act) or a holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020; and
- did not receive any of the following payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:
- Parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2020
- Workers compensation payment for total incapacity for work.
Alternative turnover tests
The Commissioner of Taxation will also have discretion to set out alternative turnover tests where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in 2020 to actual turnover in 2019.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.
Jeanette has over 20 years experience as an accountant in public practice. She is a Chartered Accountant, registered tax agent and accredited SMSF Association advisor. When she is not helping business owners grow their empires, you will likely find her out running on the trails or lifting weights in her local CrossFit gym. Book in to see Jeanette today.