Updated: Jul 31
Key summary for you of the changes to JobKeeper & JobSeeker 2.0. Note - nothing changes before the end of September 2020, including the current eligibility criteria.
Extension to 28 March 2021 with a Two-Tiered Payment System
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
$1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees and business participants who, in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working 20 hours or more a week on average in February 2020; and
$750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, JobKeeper Payment rates will be:
$1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees and business participants who, in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working 20 hours or more a week on average in February 2020; and
$650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
Reapply and Prove Eligibility
To continue to be eligible for JobKeeper, the testing is slightly different this time around. GST turnover needs to be the same as BAS turnover (based on Treasury Fact Sheet, noting this is different to previous ATO information on calculation of GST Turnover). It’s expected that this will help the ATO perform either eligibility or integrity testing.
For 28 September to 3 January: To be eligible in this period, you must have had an actual decline in BAS turnover of 30% or more for both:
Quarter ending 30 June 2020 (compared to the quarter ended 30 June 2019) and
Quarter ending 30 September 2020 (compared to the quarter ended 30 September 2019).
For 4 January to 28 March 2021: To be eligible in this period, you must have had an actual decline in BAS turnover of 30% or more for both periods listed above AND:
You must ALSO have an actual decline in turnover of 30% or more for Quarter ended 31 December 2020 (compared to quarter ended 31 December 2019)
The existing alternative tests may still be allowed by the ATO.
Other Key Items
The JobKeeper payment will remain open to new employers and business participants provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period
Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee (i.e. the wage condition)
New businesses established since 1 March 2020 will not be eligible
The rules do not change for employee eligibility (must have been employed at 1 March 2020, and if casual, for >12months)
Extended Supplement to 31 December 2020
The Coronavirus Supplement will continue at $550 per fortnight ($1,100 per fortnight in total) for payments up to 24 September 2020
From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, Supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight (total payment decreasing to $800 per fortnight with a base rate of $550 plus the coronavirus supplement).
Access to payments will change from 25 September 2020
Means testing – From 25 September 2020, means testing will be reinstated:
o Asset testing for all payments will be reinstated, for both existing and new recipients; and
o The Liquid Assets Waiting Period (LAWP) for all payments will be reinstated
o Recipients will be allowed to earn $300 a fortnight before facing a reduction in their Government payment
Partner income testing – the partner income test cut-out will increase to $3,086 per fortnight, or $80,239 per annum, for individuals with no personal income, from 25 September 2020. The taper rate will increase from 25 to 27 cents, with the higher income cut-out result of changes to income testing for JobSeeker Payment.
Expanded criteria – JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) criteria will continue to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment and sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet income and asset tests until 31 December 2020.
For more information please visit Treasury Fact Sheet - JobKeeper Extension and Treasury Fact Sheet - Additional Income Support for Individuals.
Remember that nothing changes until after September, so there is time to digest and assess how this impacts you & your business.
As always, talk to us with any questions you have, we are here to help you.