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JobKeeper 2.0 — are you eligible?

Find out if you are eligible for JobKeeper payments under the extension.
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JobKeeper 2.0 — are you eligible?

JobKeeper 2.0 — are you eligible?

23 July 2020

By Catherine Ngo

JobKeeper 2.0 will kick off on 28 September as a two-tiered, scaled-down scheme with a six-month lifespan. Find out if you are eligible for JobKeeper payments under the extension.

To be eligible for JobKeeper payments under the extension, businesses with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less will need to prove 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 are required to show a 15 per cent shortfall.

From 28 September, businesses wanting to stay on JobKeeper will also need to prove they suffered an actual decline in turnover for the June and September quarters. To keep receiving JobKeeper into 2021, on 4 January businesses will need to reconfirm their turnover shortfall for each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters.

What if I don’t meet the additional turnover test?

Will the ATO discontinue my current payments before 28 September? If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility before 28 September 2020.

The Treasury has confirmed that the JobKeeper payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.

What are the new JobKeeper amounts?

The government has announced a reduction in the JobKeeper payment rate, scrapping its previous flat-rate approach.

The PM elaborated that given the changed situation, a two-tiered system is now possible.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rate will be $1,200 per fortnight for those who were employed full-time in the four weeks before 1 March 2020.

Employees working in the business for less than 20 hours a week on average will receive $750 per fortnight instead of the current single rate of $1,500.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rate will be decreased to $1,000 per fortnight for full-time workers, and $650 for part-time employees working 20 hours a week or less.

The government has confirmed that businesses and not-for-profits entering JobKeeper 2.0 will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees or business participants.

Will there be an alternative test?

The Commissioner of Taxation will have the discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 reference period.

For example, this will include where the employee was on leave, volunteering during the bushfires or not employed for all or part of February 2020.

Guidance will be provided by the ATO where the employee was paid in non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods, and in other circumstances, the general rules do not cover.

JobKeeper payment will continue to be made by the ATO to employers in arrears. Employers will continue to be required to meet the wage conditions which means they will still need to make payments to employees equal to, or higher than, the amount of the JobKeeper payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee.

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