August 2020 : Extension of the JobKeeper Payment
The Government has extended the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021. Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. The payment rate will be reduced and a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours.
The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021. In addition, from 3 August 2020 the relevant date of employment will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension.
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. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week in the relevant reference period.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered a decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover).
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the September quarter 2020 to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in the December quarter 2020 to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
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.
The JobKeeper Payment rate
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
- $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working in the business or notfor-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
- $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
- $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working in the business or notfor-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
- $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees (or business participants).
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 (the period with the higher number of hours worked is to be used for employees with 1 March 2020 eligibility). For example, this will include where the employee was on leave, volunteering during the bushfires, or not employed for all or part of February or June 2020.
Guidance will be provided by the ATO where the employee was paid in non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods and in other circumstances the general rules do not cover.
The JobKeeper Payment will continue to be made by the ATO to employers in arrears. Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper Payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee. This is called the wage condition.
for more details
* Disclaimer: This newsletter is of a general nature and for general information only. Do not act on this information before getting specific advice. Other factors or individual circumstances may influence the result.