On Tuesday 15 September, the Australian Government released the legislative framework for JobKeeper 2.0, which will see the scheme finish up at the end of March 2021. This extension will provide targeted support to those organisations which continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19.
The JobKeeper Payment has been extended
From 28 September 2020, eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods, and the payment will be stepped down with a two-tiered payment system.
Along with the new JobKeeper payment rates, there will be two separate extension periods. For each extension period, an additional actual decline in turnover test applies and the rate of the JobKeeper payment is different.
- Extension 1: from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
- Extension 2: from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
|Extension Period 1||Extension Period 2|
|Higher payment rate
(80 hours or more in *reference period)
|$1,200 per fortnight||$1,000 per fortnight|
|Lower payment rate
(Less than 80 hours in *reference period)
|$750 per fortnight||$650 per fortnight|
*The reference period for employees is the 28 days ending at the end of the pay cycle (not payment date) that finished immediately before 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
Please note employers cannot choose the reference period – employers must apply the reference period that results in the highest rate.
When working out the average working hours for the period this is to include public holidays, paid leave including annual, long-service, sick, carers and other forms of paid leave.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover).
- The turnover will be tested to show on-going decline each quarter
- To be eligible for JobKeeper payments for the period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 you must show a 30%* decline in turnover when comparing September 2020 quarter with September 2019 quarter.
- To be eligible for JobKeeper payments for the period 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 you must show a 30%* decline in turnover when comparing December 2020 quarter with December 2019 quarter.
*For businesses with aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less. Different rates apply to businesses with turnover more than $1 billion or if an Australian Charity or Non-For-Profit.
Please note if you do not qualify for Extension 1, you can still be eligible for Extension 2 period.
Please note the Jobkeeper scheme will remain open to new participants.
Eligible Business Participants
To determine the rate that a business participant may be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 they will need to demonstrate the hours that they have actively worked within the business performing duties for the month of February 2020 (the reference period for JobKeeper 2.0).
Businesses that have not participated in the original JobKeeper scheme (i.e. between 30 March 2020 and 27 September 2020), but have now experienced the requisite decline in actual GST turnover for the September or December 2020 quarter, may qualify for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021 (Extension Period 1 and 2 /or of JobKeeper 2.0).
Alternative Reference Periods
There may be circumstances where the pre-March or the pre-July reference periods are not suitable for some eligible employees.
If an employee does not satisfy the 80-hour threshold in the standard pre-March or pre-July reference periods, employers should consider whether they satisfy it using an alternative reference period.
For more information about alternative reference period please click here.
JobKeeper 2.0 Registration
Businesses currently in JobKeeper will not need to re-register for JobKeeper 2.0 and all existing nominations will remain valid. If the business is not eligible for the JobKeeper 2.0 payment, then they will simply not lodge any further monthly declarations.
Please note new participants will be required to register in accordance with ATO requirements.
JobKeeper Alternative Turnover Test
The Government will release an alternative turnover test for those businesses who commenced business after the test period being September 2019 and December 2019.
Alternative tests ‘still apply’ for the JobKeeper extension – the ATO is poised to introduce guidance around the JobKeeper extension alternative tests this week after the Treasurer’s rules and the subsequent commissioner’s determinations were registered last week.
These alternative tests for the JobKeeper extension are set to remain largely the same as the first version, with the exception of a quarterly test period and a disclosure requirement.
For more information about the JobKeeper Payment extension and requirements click here to download the fact sheet.
If you have any questions or would like to organise a meeting with an Accountant please, contact us.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended to provide a general summary only; the information should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice