Latest Changes to JobKeeper

On 7 August 2020, further changes to JobKeeper were announced to provide further support to businesses in light of the escalating COVID-19 situation in Victoria. According to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Media Release on 7 August, whilst these changes are nationwide “it is expected that more than 80 per cent of the increased payments will flow to Victorian businesses and employees”.

The two main changes to the JobKeeper extension in the announcement include:

Business Eligibility 

To qualify for the first JobKeeper extension period, businesses will need to demonstrate a reduction in their actual GST turnover for the September quarter only. This has been changed from the original JobKeeper extension announcement, which stated that businesses needed to demonstrate a reduction in turnover for both the June and September quarters. To apply for the second extension period, businesses will need to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for just the December quarter.

The decline in turnover rates remain unchanged and are as follows:
• 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
• 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or
• 15 per cent for Australian Charities and not for profits

Employee Eligibility

Originally, employers could claim JobKeeper payments for employees that were working at the business at or before 1 March 2020. This has been changed to 1 July 2020, effective from 3 August. This applies to the last 4 fortnights of the current JobKeeper scheme and the whole extension period. This will enable more employees to be eligible for the program.

Casual employees will still need to have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for a minimum of 12 months.

For eligible employees, the higher amount out of the two fortnightly pay periods in the lead up to 1 March or 1 July will be used to determine hours worked.

There were no changes to JobKeeper payment rates announced recently for the extension which are:

  • 28 September – 3 January: $1,200 for employees working 20 hours or more & $750 for employees working less than 20 hours.
  • 4 January – 28 March: $1,000 for employees working 20 hours or more & $650 for employees working less than 20 hours.

More businesses in Victoria may became eligible for the remaining fortnights in the original JobKeeper programme due to the stage 4 lockdown (they may have a drop of 30% or more now where they may not have had under stage 3).

If you require any assistance in applying for the JobKeeper extension, please contact the Asparq team today.

You can also find further information on the treasury fact sheet below:
Extension of the JobKeeper Payment

The information contained herein is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon nor is it a substitute for appropriate professional advice. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of the material, it is not guaranteed to be accurate. Individual circumstances are different and as such require specific examination. Asparq cannot accept liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of or reliance upon all or any part of this material. Additional information may be made available upon request.

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