JobKeeper eligibility thresholds eased after Victorian outbreak

JobKeeper eligibility thresholds eased after Victorian outbreak

In July, the Government announced an extension to the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 to continue to support businesses and not-for-profits who have been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

Eligibility for JobKeeper will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods and the payment amount will be reduced and paid at two rates from 28 September 2020. 

Further changes were announced on 7 August 2020 to adjust the reference date for employee eligibility to make it more accessible for businesses to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment extension. The Victorian COVID-19 outbreak is the catalyst for the adjustment of the plans.

Is your business eligible for JobKeeper?

From 28 September 2020, any businesses and not-for-profits wanting to claim for JobKeeper will need to reassess their eligibility for the extension by referencing their actual turnover in the September quarter of 2020. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to show they've had the relevant shortfall in turnover in this quarter to be eligible from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. 

Come January 2021, a further reassessment into eligibility for the period from 4 January to 28 March 2021 needs to be completed. Businesses and not-for-profits need to show they've met the relevant decline in turnover test in the December quarter 2020 to maintain eligibility for the March quarter 2021.

What is the 'relevant decline' in business turnover?

Businesses with a total turnover of $1 billion or less will need to demonstrate they have experienced a drop in turnover of at least 30 per cent. For those with turnover above this limit, the fall is 50 per cent. Charities and not-for-profits are required to show a 15 per cent shortfall.

What about employee eligibility for JobKeeper?

To be eligible for the extension period, employees need to be:

  • currently employed by an eligible business 
  • either a full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee as at 1 July 2020. Or a long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer. 
  • aged 18 years or older as at 1 July 2020. If an employee is 16 or 17, they can qualify if they are independent or not undertaking full-time study. 
  • either an Australian resident (within the context of the Social Security Act 1991); or an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 July 2020. 
  • not receiving government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010; or payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual's total incapacity for work during the JobKeeper period.

The new JobKeeper payment rate

The new JobKeeper Payment rate will be dropped and paid at two rates:

Pay period — 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021:

  • $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees 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. 

Pay period — 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees 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.

Need further information?

With JobKeeper changing all the time; Positive HR can help you make sense of it. If you have any questions about JobKeeper and eligibility, we can help. Simply book in a free 15-minute consultation with one of our Positive HR Consultants here.

Reference

Treasury Job Keeper Fact Sheet
https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Fact_sheet-JobKeeper_Payment_extension_1.pdf

 

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