On 21 July, the Treasurer announced an extension of the JobKeeper scheme beyond 27 September 2020 and released high level details on modifications to the scheme.
JobKeeper extension (original): 21 July 2020
- Extension: The scheme was extended beyond the original end date of 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.
- Payment amount: The subsidy received by an employer will reduce from 28 September 2020 and will further reduce from 4 January 2021.
- Two-tiered payment system: There will be two different amounts of payment. The amounts of payment in respect of a particular individual is determined by the hours worked by the individual for a single entity in the four weeks immediately preceding 1 March 2020 (amended by August announcement).
Payment rates :https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension
- Eligibility dates: All businesses will need to reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper scheme in respect of the seven JobKeeper fortnights ending 3 January 2021 and the six JobKeeper fortnights ending 28 March 2021 in relation to the decline to turnover test. Current satisfaction of the decline in turnover test will become irrelevant for these JobKeeper fortnights.
- Turnover test: The July announcement stated that for JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and ending on 3 January 2021, an entity would need to demonstrate that its actual GST turnover for both the June 2020 quarters fell by the applicable decline in turnover percentage. Then, for the JobKeeper fortnights commencing 4 January 2021 and ending on 28 March 2021, an entity would need to demonstrate that its actual GST turnover for the June 2020, September 2020 and December 2020 quarters fell by the applicable decline in turnover percentage.
JobKeeper adjustments: 7 August 2020
On Friday 7 August 2020, the Treasurer announced two further adjustments to JobKeeper 2.0 relating to the turnover test and employee eligibility.
- Turnover test: An entity must meet one of the decline-in-turnover tests (ie actual turnover) for the September 2020 quarter alone (instead of for both the June and September quarters as previously announced) to be eligible for JobKeeper for the period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. Beyond that, an entity will have to meet the decline in turnover tests for the December 2020 quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper for the period 4 January to 28 March 2021.
- Eligibility employees test: The reference date for assessing employee eligibility for JobKeeper was changed to 1 July 2020 (previously 1 March) with effect from 3 August 2020. The change will apply for JobKeeper 1.0 and JobKeeper 2.0. The reference period for employees regarding their hours worked to determine their tier of payment will be the two fortnightly pay periods prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020. The period with higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.