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Last updated 11 August 2020

The Federal Government recently announced the JobKeeper Payment will run until March 2021. Existing payments will remain unchanged until the original scheduled end date of 27 September. Thereafter, some changes will apply and we note these below.

Retesting of eligibility from 28 September 2020 will be based on actual, not projected, turnover for prior quarters relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

Additionally, JobKeeper payments will be based on a two tiered payment arrangement, detailed in the table below.

Announcement details

Prior to 27 September 2020

  • No changes in relation to the existing arrangements. This means that businesses who currently access JobKeeper can continue to do so until 27 September 2020. The JobKeeper Payment remains open to new participants that meet the eligibility requirements.
  • No changes to the payment cycle which continues to be monthly in arrears or the requirement to ‘top-up’ or make payments to employees equal to, or greater than the amount of the JobKeeper Payment (before tax).
  • No changes in the thresholds applicable to the ‘decline in turnover test’. The relevant thresholds for the decline in turnover test are as follows:

27 September 2020

  • Retesting of eligibility from 28 September 2020 based on actual, not projected turnover relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).
  • As was the case for testing eligibility for the first tranche of JobKeeper Payments, the announcements have flagged that the Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests to establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019.
  • Changes applicable for the December 2020 quarter in addition to the existing eligibility requirements:
    • From 28 September 2020 businesses will need to retest their eligibility for access to the scheme. This will require:
      • A decline in actual turnover during the September 2020 quarter.
    • A reduced, tiered payment arrangement with:
      • $1,200 per eligible employee or business participant, per fortnight being provided for employees/business participants who worked 20 hours or more per week on average during the month of February 2020; and
      • $750 per eligible employee or business participant, per fortnight being provided for employees/business participants who worked less than 20 hours per week on average during the month of February 2020.

4 January 2021

  • Changes applicable for the March 2021 quarter in addition to the existing eligibility requirements:
    • From 4 January 2021 businesses will need to retest their eligibility for access to the scheme. This will require:
      • A decline in actual turnover during the December 2020 quarter.
    • A reduced, tiered payment arrangement with:
      • $1,000 per eligible employee or business participant, per fortnight being provided for employees/business participants who worked 20 hours or more per week on average during the month of February 2020; and
      • $650 per eligible employee or business participant, per fortnight being provided for employees/business participants who worked less than 20 hours per week on average during the month of February 2020.

Summary

Further Information

  • In relation to determining whether an employee/business participant worked 20 hours or more per week on average during February 2020:
    • The Commissioner of Taxation will have 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.

Contact Pilot

Should you have any queries in relation to the COVID-19 concessions, please contact your Pilot Advisor or Murray Howlett via mhowlett@pilotpartners.com.au.

 

Further reading: Fact Sheet