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JobKeeper: what's changing

Businesses receiving JobKeeper payments need to be aware of recent changes which extend the eligibility of the program, meaning more of your employees may be eligible. Employee eligibility has been changed to 01 July 2020 and individuals are also able to re-nominate a different eligible employer as at that date.

For any newly-qualified employees to receive JobKeeper payments, some crucial forms and declarations needs to be lodged by an impending due date. Given that JobKeeper is now to run until 28 March next year, it is important to get any newly-qualified employees into the system as soon as possible.

JobKeeper was originally determined by employee eligibility as at 01 March 2020. However, this date has now been changed to 01 July 2020. The result is that any employees who were employed after 01 March (but before 01 July) can now qualify for JobKeeper. That is, it is available for new employees engaged after 01 March 2020.

It also means that employees who did not qualify as at 01 March may do so as at 01 July. For example, this may be relevant for long-term casual employees who had not clocked up the requisite 12 months as at 01 March but have done so by 01 July.

The new rules also cover individuals who have changed employers. For example, those employees who had nominated with one employer as at 01 March 2020 can re-nominate with another employer as at 01 July 2020. An individual who re-nominates as an eligible employee of a new employer is excluded from being an eligible employee of the old employer (ie. no double-dipping).

A key condition is that the individual must have ceased their employment with the first employer before 01 July 2020 and commenced their employment with the new employer by 01 July 2020.

The reason for the cessation of employment is not relevant; eg. the employee could have had his or her employment terminated, he or she could have resigned, or the employer may have ceased to exist.

The changes also cover employees who were employed as at 01 March but who had been let go by their employer due to the COVID-19 downturn, but were subsequently re-employed by the same employer.

In fact, the rules cover employees who have been or will be re-engaged by the same employer after 01 July 2020, ie. they can nevertheless qualify for JobKeeper. In other words, there is no time limit on when this can happen. However, the eligibility of an individual re-employed by the same employer is not preserved if the individual re-nominated for another employer.

The table below provides a snapshot of how JobKeeper is changing.

Dates 30/03/20 - 27/09/20  28/09/20 - 03/01/21 04/01/21 - 28/03/21
Payment amount (per fortnight) $1,500 per eligible employee or business participant $1,200 per eligible employee or business participant that works 20 hours or more per week

$750 for all other eligible employees or business participants
$1,000 per eligible employee or business participant that works 20 hours or more per week

$650 for all other eligible employees or business participants
Decline in turnover threshold 50% for a business with annual aggregate turnover of >$1 billion
30% for a business with annual aggregate turnover <$1 billion
15% for registered charity
2020 test period for decline in turnover The relevant month or quarter within the period ended 27 September 2020. No requirement to re-test during this period.

Projected and annual turnover.
Business must meet the decline in turnover threshold for September 2020 quarter.

Actual GST turnover only.
Business must meet the decline in turnover threshold for December 2020 quarter.

Actual GST turnover only.

What needs to be done?

  • If you are a currently eligible employee, nothing. Your employer will continue to receive JobKeeper for wages you are paid on an ongoing basis ($1,500 per fortnight up to 27 September 2020).
  • If you are a newly qualified employee due to the change of date, you must return the “JobKeeper payment – employee nomination notice” that your employer gives you as soon as possible.
  • If you are an employer currently receiving JobKeeper, you must review the status of all employees to determine if any of them are newly qualified.

You can also take 90 seconds to get a video snapshot of JobKeeper 2.0 – the key dates, the new payment amounts and who's eligible.

Need MORE help?

If you have any questions about the technical aspects of the changes to JobKeeper or you'd like to clarify if certain employees would be eligible under the revamped scheme, we can provide immediate assistance and advice.

HOW CAN WE HELP?


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