The Australian Government is extending the JobKeeper payment scheme until March 28, 2021 at a reduced rate. The second tranche of the JobKeeper scheme is for businesses that continue to be significantly impacted by coronavirus. JobKeeper 2.0 sees changes to the eligibility test for employers.
If your business currently receives JobKeeper, your arrangements will generally remain unchanged until 27 September 2020. Beyond this date, employers claiming JobKeeper payments will need to reassess their eligibility and prove an actual decline in turnover.
To continue receiving JobKeeper payments, employers will need to reassess their eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover for the June and September 2020 quarters (to be eligible for 28 September to 3 January 2021 payments); and again for the June, September and December 2020 quarters (to be eligible for 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 payments).
The broad eligibility tests for JobKeeper payments remain the same with an extended decline in turnover test.
To receive JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020, businesses will need to meet the basic eligibility tests and an extended decline in turnover test based on actual GST turnover.
|30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020||28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021||4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021|
|Decline in turnover||Projected GST turnover for a relevant month or quarter is expected to fall by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.||Actual GST turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019.
The decline for both of the quarters needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.
|Actual GST turnover in the June, September and December 2020 quarters fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019. The decline for all three of the quarters needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.|
As Business Activity Statement (BAS) deadlines are generally not due until the month after the end of the quarter, eligibility for JobKeeper will need to be assessed in advance of the BAS reporting deadlines to meet the wage condition for eligible employees. However, the ATO will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition.
Alternative arrangements are expected to be put in place for businesses that are not required to lodge a BAS (for example, if the entity is a member of a GST group).
Employee eligibility will remain broadly the same but the value of the payment will change from 28 September based on average weekly hours in February 2020.
JobKeeper Payment Amounts
JobSeeker and Other Support
Services Australia will be continuing the Coronavirus supplement on a reduced rate of $250 per fortnight, from 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020 for eligible individuals.
|27 April to 24 September 2020||$550 per fortnight|
|25 September to 31 December 2020||$250 per fortnight|
Eligibility remains the same. That is, those receiving:
- JobSeeker Payment
- Youth Allowance
- Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- Farm Household Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Eligible New Enterprise Incentive Scheme participants
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Education Schemes
The eligibility criteria and some of the tests for access to income support is changing.
Eligibility and Access
The expanded eligibility criteria for the Jobseeker Payment and the Youth Allowance Jobseeker will continue to apply until 31 December 2020:
- Permanent employees who have been stood down or lost their jobs (and are not receiving payments from an employer or through insurance)
- Sole traders, the self-employed, casuals or contractors who meet the income and assets tests.
In addition, if you receive JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments, you can earn up to $300 per fortnight from 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020 before your income impacts your support.
However, a number of restrictions have been reintroduced.
Reintroduction of Assets and Partner Income Tests
From 25 September 2020, the assets test and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period (applies to those with assets such as cash savings worth over $5,500 for singles or $11,000 for singles with children and partnered people) will be reintroduced for access to income support payments.
In addition, partner income testing will resume from 25 September, albeit with higher thresholds than those pre-coronavirus. You will not be eligible for income support if you are not earning an income but your partner earns $3,086.11 or more per fortnight or $80,238.89 or more per annum. The partner income test taper rate will increase from 25 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $996 per fortnight to 27 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $1,165 per fortnight.
If you have any queries or concerns regarding JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.