COVID-19: JobKeeper Payment extended
The federal government has announced that the JobKeeper Payment will be extended to 28 March 2021.
The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to end after 27 September 2020, will continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-proﬁt organisations until 28 March 2021.
The following changes will apply from 28 September 2020:
• reduced JobKeeper Payment rates
• lower rate for employees and business participants working less than 20 hours a week
• additional turnover tests.
Reduced JobKeeper Payment rate
The JobKeeper Payment rate will be reduced on 28 September 2020 and 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, a lower payment rate will apply to eligible employees and business participants working less than 20 hours per week on average.
Working fewer than 20 hours per week
From 28 September 2020, a lower payment rate will apply for:
• eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working less than 20 hours a week on average
• eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week on average in the month of February 2020.
Employers will be required to nominate the payment rate claimed for each of their eligible employees or business participants.
The ATO will provide guidance on circumstances that are not addressed under the general rules for determining average hours per week, eg non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods. The Commissioner will also have discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the test period, eg annual leave or volunteering during bushﬁres.
Additional turnover tests from 28 September 2020
From 28 September 2020, employers will be required to meet additional decline in turnover tests.
To be eligible for the ﬁrst JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, employers need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has declined signiﬁcantly in both the June 2020 quarter and the September 2020 quarter relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).
To be eligible for the second JobKeeper Payment extension period of 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, employers need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has declined signiﬁcantly in each of the June 2020, September 2020 and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).
The relevant decline in turnover to be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension remains the same as existing rules, being either:
• 50% for entities with an aggregated turnover of more than $1b
• 30% for entities with an aggregated turnover for $1b or less
• 15% for Australian Charities and Not-for-proﬁts Commission registered charities (excluding schools and universities).
The JobKeeper Payment will remain open to new recipients, provided the existing eligibility requirements and additional turnover tests during the extension period are met.
Source: CCH Australia