JobKeeper Extension Bill

JobKeeper Extension Bill - Parliament House in CanberraThe JobKeeper Payments Amendment Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on Wednesday 26th August. This Bill introduces the extension of the JobKeeper scheme announced last month.

The proposed rate changes will see the current $1500 per fortnight payment drop from September 28. It will change to $1200 for full time workers and to $750 for those working less than 20 hours per week.

From January 2021, the rate will drop again to $1000 per fortnight, and $650 for those working less than 20 hours per week.

Legacy Employers

Employers who no longer qualify for JobKeeper after 28 September will be classified as legacy employers. These will have to satisfy a 10% decline in turnover to have access to modified JobKeeper enabling directions.

Decline in Turnover Test Certificate

Employers will need to obtain a 10% decline in turnover test certificate from an eligible financial service provider, including a BAS or Tax Agent.

Reducing workers’ hours

These modified directions include reducing an employee’s ordinary hours to a minimum of 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours as they were at 1 March 2020. However the reduction cannot result in the employee working less than two consecutive hours in a day.

Further details are to come.

More employees may be eligible.

From JobKeeper fortnights commencing 3rd August, the key date for eligible employees has changed to 1 July. To be eligible in the past, an employee had to be on the books as of the 1st of March. This change is to allow for businesses that started opening up and taking on new employees after March.

Turnover Test Requirements

To recap, from 28th of September 2020:

  • businesses looking to claim the JobKeeper wage subsidy will be required to demonstrate that they experienced a decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover.
  • businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (the first extension period).

From 4th January 2021:

  • businesses will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they suffered a decline with reference to their actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (the second extension period).

The required decline in GST turnover percentages will remain the same:

  • 30% for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less
  • 50% for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion
  • 15% for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools.

If you have any questions about the JobKeeper extension bill, please get in touch. We appreciate your ongoing support.