Covid-19 Government Stimulus Response – JOBKEEPER 1.0 & JOBKEEPER EXTENSION 2.0

Government announces changes to JobKeeper

The latest amendment to the JobKeeper 1.0 rules has been released. From Monday 3 August 2020, the employee eligibility test date will move from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. The new reference date will apply for the last four fortnights of the legislated scheme as well as the duration of the proposed extended period.
 
Employee eligibility is now based on 01 July 2020

The reference date for assessing which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment is now 1 July 2020 with effect from 3 August 2020. The ATO have given employers until 31 August 2020 to meet the wage condition for JobKeeper fortnights 10 (3-16 August) and 11 (17-30 August).
 
Additional turnover tests after 28th September 2020 for JobKeeper 2.0
 
To qualify for the 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 payments:

  • businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen in the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

 
To qualify for the 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 payments:

  • businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen in the December quarter 2020 (October, November, December) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

 
Businesses and not-for-profits will generally be able to assess eligibility based on details reported in the Business Activity Statement (BAS). Alternative arrangements will be put in place for businesses and not-for-profits that are not required to lodge a BAS.
 
For the JobKeeper 1.0, you had the option to choose Cash or Accruals method for Turnover test. However, for the JobKeeper extension 2.0, it will be based on the method you report in BAS.
 
JobKeeper Payment Rates (Still remain the same from the last update)
 
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 not-for-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 not-for-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.

 
What period do you use to determine the employees ‘worked hours’?
 
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 the higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.
 
What Employers Should Do Now
 

  • When considering which employees may now be eligible for JobKeeper assistance, bear in mind that the one in all in principle applies to the newly eligible 1 July 2020 employees, just as it did to the 1 March 2020 employees;
     
  • Consider which employees are now eligible to bring into the JobKeeper scheme, not forgetting:
     
    • Employees who may have joined the business after 1 March 2020 but are currently stood down;
    • Casuals who may qualify as long-term casuals as at 1 July 2020;
    • Employees who may not have met the age condition as at 1 March 2020, but do as at 1 July 2020;
    • Employees who may not have met the residency condition as at 1 March 2020, but do as at 1 July 2020;

  • Immediately obtain Nomination Notices from the newly eligible employees (including former employees now re-engaged, as discussed above);
     
  • By Monday, 31 August 2020, ensure that the newly eligible employees are paid $1,500 per fortnight for JobKeeper fortnight 10 (3-16 August) and JobKeeper fortnight 11 (17-30 August);
     
  • Add the new employees into the JobKeeper monthly reporting for August 2020 (due 14 September).

  
Further information can be found on the Australian Government Treasury site at:
https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper
 
The Team at Rawson Verco Need are ready to assist you to understand how these changes are relevant to your circumstances and to help you navigate through these challenging times.

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