Note: this article is accurate at time of posting however the regulations in relation to COVID19 responses change very frequently. This article was amended on 11 August 2020 following the Australian Government announcement on 7 August 2020.
On 21 July 2020 the Government announced significant changes to the JobKeeper program. The scheme formerly ended on 27 September 2020, but has now been extended to 28 March 2021. The Government also introduced turnover tests to determine eligibility of businesses and a tiered payment system. Those currently on the JobKeeper payment will continue to receive the same payments until 27 September 2020. However, businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility for the scheme from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (“first extension period”), according to their actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter.
Eligibility for the scheme from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (“second extension period”) will again need to be reassessed in January 2021, with reference to their actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter.
To be eligible, businesses will need to demonstrate either;
- a 50% reduction in turnover for businesses with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
- a 30% reduction in turnover for businesses with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less;
- or a 15% reduction for Australian charities and not for profits commission-registered charities.
The Government also announced a reduction in the payment amounts for the first and second extension periods.
Eligible employees who in the four weeks prior to either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, worked an average of 20 hours or more per week, will receive $1,200.00 per fortnight in the first extension period. Those who worked less than these hours, will only receive $750.00 per fortnight. In the second extension period, eligible employees who in the four weeks prior to either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, worked an average of 20 hours or more per week, will receive $1,000.00 per fortnight. Again, those who worked less can expect to receive $650.00.
For more information on the Jobkeeper changes visit https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension