Changes to JobKeeper 1.0

More employees eligible for JobKeeper but you must act by 31 August 2020.

There have been many updates to the JobKeeper program since inception, including the announcement of JobKeeper 2.0.

A recent change that may benefit your business is the change to employee eligibility dates.  Employees that previously failed the JobKeeper eligibility test because they were not employed on 1 March 2020, may now be eligible for payments from 3 August 2020 if they were employed by 1 July 2020.  

Below we outline these changes and how they may apply to your business.

Program Dates

JobKeeper 1.0 wage subsidy ends 27 September 2020
JobKeeper 2.0 wage subsidy extended to 28 March 2021

Employee Eligibility

New eligibility date

Businesses may now be eligible to claim for employees who started from 1 July (not just from 1 March). For the fortnights commencing on 3 August and 17 August, employers have until 31 August to meet the wage condition for all new eligible employees under the 1 July eligibility test.

20+ work hours eligibility test (look-back approach)

  • From 28 September, eligibility for “full rate” (Tier 1) JobKeeper depends on employee working 20 hours or more (on average) in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March or 1 July.
  • There is ATO discretion to apply an alternative test if employee’s hours were not usual during the February or June reference period.
  • Employer must nominate which payment rate is being claimed for each employee.

Casuals

If a casual employee was not an eligible employee prior to 3 August, you can use the 1 July test to reassess that employee’s eligibility. The test requires that the employee be employed on a regular and systematic basis for the period 2 July 2019 to 1 July 2020.

Apprentices and trainees in place on 1 July 2020

Wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021. In addition to the existing support for small businesses, medium-sized businesses employing 199 people or fewer, will now be eligible for the subsidy for wages paid from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Sole trader and eligible business participants

JobKeeper eligibility continues for sole traders, a partner in a partnership, a beneficiary of a trust, a shareholder or Director of a company.  The 20+ hour test also applies to sole traders and eligible business participants from 28 September 2020, calculated by reference to time spent “actively engaged in the business”.

Turnover Decline Test

JobKeeper 1.0JobKeeper 2.0
30 March 2021 –
27 September 2020
28 September 2020 –
2 January 2021
4 January 2021-
28 March 2021
30% decline in projected GST turnover (50% for businesses with turnover of more than $1 billion) No change to decline percentages (30%, 50%, 15%) No change to decline percentages (30%, 50%, 15%)
15% decline if a registered charityMeasuring decline using actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter, relative to comparable 2019 periodMeasuring decline using actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter, relative to comparable 2019 period

Payment Amounts

JobKeeper 1.0JobKeeper 2.0
30 March 2021 –
27 September 2020
28 September 2020 –
2 January 2021
4 January 2021-
28 March 2021
$1,500 per fortnight for all eligible employees. $1,200 per fortnight for work of 20+ hours per week$1,000 per fortnight for work of 20+ hours per week
$750 per fortnight for work of < 20 hours per week$650 per fortnight for work of < 20 hours per week

For more detailed information refer to Australian Taxation Office advice for Employers at https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Employers/

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