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JobKeeper 2.0

On 15th September 2020, the Treasurer announced the following changes to the JobKeeper Scheme:

  • The Jobkeeper scheme will be extended beyond the former set end date of 27th September 2020;
  • The Jobkeeper 2.0 scheme will be a two-tiered payment scheme;
  • The eligibility for the two payment tiers will be based on the number of hours worked during the relevant reference period; and
  • There will be a requirement to re-test a business’ eligibility each quarter, based on the new ‘Actual decline in turnover test’.

EXTENSION TO THE JOBKEEPER SCHEME

It has been announced that there will be two extensions to the JobKeeper Scheme’s deadline, which was originally set to end on Sunday 27th September 2020.

The dates of these extensions can be seen below:

  • Extension 1: Monday 28th September 2020 – Sunday 3rd January 2021
  • Extension 2: Monday 4th January 2021 – Sunday 28th March 2021

PAYMENT RATES

From 28th September 2020, the Jobkeeper payment rate will be divided into two tiered rates:

  • Tier 1 Rates – This is the higher rate; and
  • Tier 2 Rates – This is the lower rate.

Both payment rates however will reduce in line with the two extensions. This can be seen below:

 Tier 1 RateTier 2 Rate
Extension 1
(Monday 28th September 2020 – Sunday 3rd January 2021)
$1,200 per fortnight$750 per fortnight
Extension 2
(Monday 4th January 2021 – Sunday 28th March 2021)
$1,000 per fortnight$650 per fortnight

The tiered payment system will apply to each employee based on their total number of hours worked during the applicable ‘reference period’.

The reference period for an individual can be determined using the information below:

  • Eligible Employee – The reference period is either:
    • The 28-day period finishing at the end of the most recent payment cycle for the employee for the entity that ended before 1st March 2020; or
    • The 28-day period finishing at the end of the most recent pay cycle for the employee for the entity that ended before 1st July 2020.
  • Eligible Business Participant – The month of February 2020
  • Eligible Religious Practitioner– The month of February 2020

THE PAYMENT TIERS

The payment tiers will apply as below:

 Tier 1 RateTier 2 Rate
EmployeesTotal hours of work, paid leave, and paid absence on public holidays in the reference period, greater or equal to 80 hoursTotal hours of work, paid leave, and paid absence of public holidays in the reference period of less than or equal to 80 hours
Business ParticipantsTotal number of hours the individual was actively engaged in the business in the reference period, of greater than or equal to 80 hoursTotal number of hours the individual was actively engaged in the business in the reference period of less than or equal to 80 hours.
Religious PractitionersTotal number of hours the individual spent doing activities In pursuit of their vocation as a religious practitioner; andAs a member of the registered religious institution, In the reference period of greater than or equal to 80 hours.Total number of hours the individual spent doing activities In pursuit of their vocation as a religious practitioner; andAs a member of the registered religious institution, In the reference period of less than or equal to 80 hours.

THE ACTUAL DECLINE IN TURNOVER TEST

From 28th September 2020, business will need to apply the ‘Actual Decline in Turnover Test’ in addition to the existing ‘Decline in Turnover Test’.

The new “Actual Decline in Turnover Test’ can be satisfied in two ways stated below:

  • The Basic Test; or
  • The Alternative Test.

The Basic Test is met when your actual GST turnover for the turnover test quarter period, falls short of the relevant comparison period, by the specified percentage.

To apply the actual decline in turnover test, follow the below steps:

  1. Identify the turnover test period;
    • For Extension 1 – This is the quarter ending 30th September 2020.
    • For Extension 2 – This is the quarter ending 31st December 2020.
  2. Identify the relevant comparison period;
    • For Extension 1 – This is the quarter ending 30th September 2019
    • For Extension 2 – This is the quarter ending 31st December 2019.
  3. Work out the current GST turnover;
    • For both the turnover test period and the relevant comparison period in 2019;
  4. Determine which shortfall percentage applies (50%, 30%, or 15%); and
  5. Determine if GST Turnover has declined by the specified shortfall percentage.

The Alternative test will only be available in some circumstances. Further information is expected from the ATO on this method soon.

WHAT DOESN’T CHANGE

You are not required to re-enrol for the JobKeeper Extensions if you are already enrolled for the JobKeeper fortnightly payments prior to 28th September. Businesses are also not required to reassess employee eligibility or ask their employees to agree to be nominated, if you are already claiming JobKeeper for them prior to the 28th September 2020.

The JobKeeper scheme does however remain open to new participants, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements for the relevant period.

If you would like further information on the above, please visit the ATO Website for guidance, or contact us today, to see how we can assist you on 02 9299 2292 or accountant@moneyclip.com.au.

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