As previously advised, the Government have confirmed that the JobKeeper Payment – which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020 – will now be extended to eligible businesses until 28 March 2021.  The extended JobKeeper program is designed to support those businesses which continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

Whilst full details are still to be released at the time of publishing this article, we know that the payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 – and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021 – for those who work or are actively involved in the business for 20 hours or more.

With a new two-tiered approach from 28 September, eligible employees and business participants who worked fewer than 20 hours per week will receive a lower payment rate of $750 to 3 January 2021, and $650 from 4 January 2021.

Business eligibility

To claim JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 30 January 2021, businesses will be required to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in GST turnover for the September 2020 quarter, when comparing to the same period from previous year.  This comparison will need to be based on actual GST turnover (rather than the projected GST turnover).

To claim from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, business will need to again reassess their eligibility demonstrating that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test for the December 2020 quarter.

To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of:

  • 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
  • 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or
  • 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities).

If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the turnover test for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the eligibility requirements and the turnover tests that apply during the relevant JobKeeper Payment period.

Employee eligibility

The reference date for assessing which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment is now 1 July 2020, with effect from 3 August 2020. With a new two-tier payment rate, employers will need to determine what tier of payment each employee will be eligible for, based on their hours worked for the two fortnightly pay periods prior to 1 March 2020, or 1 July 2020 (reference periods). The period with the higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020. For further details regarding employee eligible please click here.

JobKeeper Payment Rate

The JobKeeper Payment rate is to be reduced and paid at two rates:

  Hours Worked JK Payment Rate per fortnight 28 Sept 2020 to 3 Jan 2021 JK Payment Rate per fortnight 4 Jan 2021 to 28 March 2021
Eligible Employee < 20 hours *1 $750 $650
20 hours or more *2 $1,200 $1,000
  Hours Worked JK Payment Rate per fortnight 28 Sept 2020 to 3 Jan 2021 JK Payment Rate per fortnight 4 Jan 2021 to 28 March 2021
Eligible Business Participant < 20 hours *3 $750 $650
20 hours or more *4 $1,200 $1,000

 *1                   Working for the business for less than 20 hours a week on average

*2                   Working for the business for 20 hours or more a week on average

*3                   Actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours a week on average

*4                   Actively engaged in the business for 20 hours a week or more on average