As foreshadowed in the media, the Australian Federal Government will be relaxing certain testing requirements under the current JobKeeper and JobKeeper Extension subsidy due to start from 28 September 2020.
The relaxation of the JobKeeper rules have been driven by the worsening of COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria and the negative flow on effects on the Australian economy.
The key change under the current JobKeeper subsidy is that eligible employees will be tested from 1 July 2020 instead of 1 March 2020. This change will take effect for JobKeeper payments from 3 August 2020.
The key changes to the JobKeeper Extension are:
- Eligible employees will now be determined at a later date from 1 July 2020 instead of 1 March 2020. (As noted above, this date change will also apply to the current JobKeeper rules increasing employee eligibility from 3 August 2020 under the existing scheme)
- The June 2020 quarter testing and rolling quarter testing requirements have been dropped and replaced with a shorter testing period (see points 3 and 4 below)
- To qualify for the first phase of the JobKeeper Extension ($1,200 / $750 per fortnight) businesses are now only required to test for the prior September 2020 quarter (compared to September 2019)
- To qualify for the second phase of the JobKeeper Extension ($1,000 / $650 per fortnight) businesses are now only required to test for the December 2020 quarter (compared to December 2019)
- The 20 work hour test to determine the JobKeeper payment amount can now be made either at 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020
- Other aspects of the JobKeeper Extension are to remain unchanged such as turnover being tested on actual rather than projected turnover and alternative decline in turnover tests remaining available.
The updated JobKeeper rules can be summarised in the following table:
|JOBKEEPER EXTENSION PERIOD||QUARTER TEST PERIOD||20 OR MORE WORK HOURS ON AVERAGE PER WEEK||LESS THAN 20 WORK HOURS ON AVERAGE PER WEEK
|28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (first phase)||Based on actual Turnover for September 2020 quarter compared to September 2019 or alternative comparable period where available||$1,200 per fortnight||$750 per fortnight
|4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (second phase)||Based on actual Turnover for December 2020 quarter compared to December 2019 or alternative comparable period where available||$1,000 per fortnight||$650 per fortnight
Further details can be found on the Treasury’s external website here: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper
These changes will see more businesses and employees now being eligible under JobKeeper and the JobKeeper Extension. Speak to your local Bentleys advisor if you need any assistance with accessing these support packages.
We, at Bentleys, are doing everything we can to help businesses come out of this challenging time in good shape.
We will continue to update our COVID-19 resource hub with important developments, so please return soon.
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.