JobKeeper has been extended to 28 March 2021. It is referred to as JobKeeper 2.0.
Another 6 months of JobKeeper has been approved. There are Amending Rules but they do not replace the existing JobKeeper rules.
The amendments to the JobKeeper Payment apply after 27th September 2020. There have been changes to the way eligibility is assessed and also changes in relation to employees.
To qualify for the JobKeeper Payment after 27th September 2020, businesses must satisfy the new actual GST decline in turnover test. It is important to note that a business may not have qualified previously for JobKeeper but may now qualify if the turnover test is met.
For the first extension period starting on 28th September 2020 and ending on 3rd January 2021, the turnover test will be satisfied where the entity’s actual GST turnover has declined by 30% for the quarter ending 30 September 2020, relative to its September 2019 quarter.
For the second extension period for JobKeeper fortnights that start on 4th January 2021 and end on 28 March 2021, the comparison test will compare the GST turnover for the quarter ending 31 December 2020, relative to its December 2019 quarter.
To receive JobKeeper the new decline in turnover test must be satisfied separately for each of the two extension periods.
Under the rules for the extension periods there is a two-tiered payment system that will apply.
In the first extension quarter there will be a higher rate of $1200 a fortnight for employees with total hours worked of 80 hours or more over a 28 day reference period. A lower rate of $750 will apply for employees working less than 80 hours over the 28 day reference period.
In extension period two, the higher rate is $750 per fortnight and the lower rate is $650 per fortnight.
The question of determining the hours of active engagement in the entity’s business will require consideration of the rules. We recommend that our clients first determine the question of eligibility for JobKeeper Payment for the first extension period. Once eligibility is confirmed the requirements relating to employees entitlements can be assessed.
As is the case with the current JobKeeper Payment, alternative tests will still be available under the JobKeeper Extension.