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Extension to the JobKeeper Payment

On 21 July 2020, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits which continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. From 28 September 2020, eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods, the payment will be stepped down and paid at two rates. Further updates were announced on 6 August 2020, which have been updated below.

Key Points of the Extension
  • To continue to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, businesses will need to demonstrate a decline in GST turnover of more than 30% for those with an aggregated GST turnover of $1 billion or less and a decline in GST turnover of 15% for Australian Charities and not-for-profit Commission-registered charities (NFP’s) using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover)
  • The extension will be split into two periods:

Extension Period 1 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021)

For the first extension period businesses and NFP’s will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen by more than 30% (15% for NFP’s) in the September 2020 quarter relative to the corresponding quarter in 2019.

JobKeeper payment rates will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants who worked more than 20 hours per week based on average hours in the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees.

Extension Period 2  (4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021)

For the second extension period businesses and NFP’s will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen by more than 30% (15% for NFP’s) in the December 2020 quarter relative to the corresponding quarter in 2019.

JobKeeper payment rates will be reduced to $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants who worked more than 20 hours per week based on average hours in the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 and $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees.

Other Key Points
  • The Commissioner of Taxation will continue to have discretion to set out alternative tests to establish eligibility should it not be appropriate to compare current actual turnover with 2019 quarters.
  • The eligibility rules for employees have changed. Employees employed between 1 March and 1 July 2020 may now be eligible for payments.
  • Businesses and NFP’s will be required to nominate which payment rate each eligible employee or business participant will be entitled to.
  • The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee’s hours were not usual during February and/or June 2020, and did not meet the minimum average 20 hours.
  • The JobKeeper payment will continue to remain open to new recipients provided they meet the existing eligibility criteria and the decline in GST turnover tests during the extension period.
  • See the Treasury website for more details or read the factsheet.

We strongly advise you to speak to your usual Accru Harris Orchard contact to discuss your ongoing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payments.