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JobKeeper Extension

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Carollo & Co

JobKeeper Extension

JobKeeper Extension

The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021. In addition, from 3 August 2020 the relevant date of employment will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

  • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; and
  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

JobKeeper 2.0: What's changed?

The revised "decline in turnover test" for determining who remains an "eligible employer"

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy from 28 September 2020, employers will have to meet a further decline in turnover test for each of the two periods of the JobKeeper extension.

Previously, employers were required to meet a projected downturn in revenue. Employers will now be required to show that their actual downturn satisfies the requisite threshold in order to be an "eligible employer".

This means that in order to be eligible for JobKeeper payments in the initial extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, an employer will need to establish they have suffered the requisite decline in actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter (i.e. July, August, September 2020) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

This means that employers will be required to assess their GST eligibility prior to lodging their business activity statement.

In order to be eligible for the subsidy in the second extension period from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, employers will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen in the December 2020 quarter (i.e. October, November, December 2020) relative to a comparable period (again, generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

The Commissioner of Taxation will retain the existing discretion to set out alternative tests in particular circumstances.

For businesses who remain "eligible employers"

Removal of flat subsidy and phased reduction of subsidy

For businesses who remain "eligible employers" from 28 September 2020, the existing flat-rate subsidy (where all eligible employees automatically receive $1,500) will cease and be replaced with a two-tiered structure depending on an employee's weekly average hours of work, with phased reductions in the amount of subsidy as follows.

According to guidance issued by the Treasury, an employee's average weekly hours of work will be assessed based on their hours worked in the month of February 2020. However, the Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out an alternative test where an employee's hours were not usual during the February 2020 period (e.g. if the employee was on leave, volunteering or not employed in all or part of February 2020).

Original scheme:
30 March 2020 to 27 Sept 2020
First extension:
28 Sept 2020 to 3 January 2021
Second extension:
4 Jan 2021 to 28 March 2021
Eligible employees working a weekly average of 20 hours or more$1,500 per fortnight$1,200 per fortnight$1,000 per fortnight
Eligible employees working a weekly average of less than 20 hours$1,500 per fortnight$750 per fortnight$650 per fortnight

"Eligible employees"

The scheme retains the eligibility criteria that meant that the JobKeeper subsidy was not available to casuals who had worked for their employer for less than 12 months, to most visa workers, local government employees, employees of universities and for foreign-owned entities.

However, as a result of the introduction of the two-tiered payment structure based on average weekly hours of work, combined with the retention of the requirement that an employee can only be an "eligible employee" with one employer, JobKeeper v2.0 is likely to significantly disadvantage eligible part-time or regular casual employees who work less than 20 hours per week with multiple employers.

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Carollo & Co | Business Advisors & Accountants | Mosman
Carollo & Co
Suite 2, 20 Clifford Street
Mosman NSW 2088
T 02 9969 1044
Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
Carollo & Co | Business Advisors