Government Announces Further Changes to JobKeeper Payment Eligibility Tests

August 10, 2020

On the 7th of August 2020, the Government announced adjustments to JobKeeper extension tests for both business and employee eligibility – now referred to as JobKeeper 3.0.

Both of these eligibility requirements are being relaxed to help increase the amount of businesses that have access to the extended JobKeeper payments, primarily in the wake of tougher restrictions imposed in Victoria. The adjustments contained within JobKeeper 3.0 will apply nationwide.

Adjustments to employee eligibility

From 3 August 2020, the relevant date of employment (which is used to determine an employee’s eligibility to JobKeeper) will move from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. This is designed to increase employee eligibility for both the existing JobKeeper scheme, as well as for the new extension periods from 28 September 2020. Casual employees will still be required to have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for a minimum of 12 month.

Adjustments to the ‘Decline in Turnover Test’

Previously to be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension Period 1 (i.e. from the 28th of September to the 3rd of January 2021), businesses needed to demonstrate a decline in turnover in both the June 2020 quarter AND the September 2020 based on their actual GST turnovers.

Under the new requirements announced on the 7th of August, businesses only need to demonstrate a significant decline in turnover in the quarter of September 2020.

To be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension Period 2 (i.e. 4th of January 2021 to the 28th of March 2021), businesses now only need to demonstrate a significant decline in turnover in the December 2020 quarter.

Under the previous scheme, businesses needed to demonstrate a decline in turnover in the June, September AND December 2020 quarters.

It is important to note that the applicable rate of decline in turnover remains unchanged. That is, there must bee a 30% decline in turnover relative to the same quarter in the previous financial year (or 50% for entities with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion and 15% for ACNC-registered charities)

Furthermore, the dual payment rate system originally proposed in JobKeeper 2.0 will remain, with the full rate of payment decreasing from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and then to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. The proposed reduced rates (being $750 from 28 September 2020 and $650 from 4 January 2021) will also remain for employees and business participants who worked fewer than 20 hours per week in the relevant period.

Contact our office on 02 9531 0922 to discuss how these changes will affect your businesses future eligibility and see the below resources for more information.

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