Government Announces JobKeeper Extension and Update

Important update to the JobKeeper program announced today

There has been an announcement today that the Government will extend the JobKeeper payment by a further six months to 28 March 2021 at a lower payment rate for eligible businesses with eligibility re-tested in October and early January 2021, based on actual turnover decline.

A summary of the changes is below:

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the June and September quarters 2020. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less for most businesses.

Importantly, if a business does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.

Two tiers of JobKeeper will be introduced, based on hours employees worked in February;

  1. The higher tier pays $1,200 (down from $1,500) a fortnight until January 3, 2021, after which it will reduce to $1,000 a fortnight;
  2. The lower tier pays $750 a fortnight until January 3, 2021, after which it will reduce to $650 a fortnight. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week.

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an inclusion for new employees taken on even if replacing an existing employee. More may come on this though.

Similar to round one, we expect the turnover testing process to be simple for some and complex for others – please contact us for assistance if you need it.

The Government have issued a fact sheet which you can read or download from here.

 Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Scotia Online CIBC Online