The JobKeeper program will be extended to 28 March 2021 for eligible businesses. JobKeeper 2.0 will be split into 2 extension periods being quarter 2 and quarter 3 of the 2020-21 financial year. Businesses will need to prove their decline in turnover again, even if they are currently receiving the payments as part of JobKeeper 1.0. The reference date for assessing employee eligibility has moved to 1 July 2020. The payment amount for each extension will be reduced and will reference two tiers depending on the number of hours employees worked in 2 relevant periods. Read on to learn about the specific details of each extension period.
JobKeeper 2.0 Extension 1
Extension period 1 will be from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021. Businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper will need to establish that they endured a decline in turnover for the July to September 2020 period as compared to the same period last year. The decline calculation will be based on actual GST turnover* and will be the same method used for BAS lodgement i.e. cash or accruals. The percentages used for turnover will remain the same as per JobKeeper 1.0. If you are receiving JobKeeper payments from JobKeeper 1.0, you will not need to re-enrol or ask employees to provide a new nomination declaration (but new employees will need to provide one). Furthermore, the ATO will allow you to satisfy the wage condition for October 2020 as late as 31 October 2020, given the time constraints for businesses needing to assess their eligibility post the end of the September 2020 quarter.
Payment rates for extension period 1 will be reduced from that of JobKeeper 1.0. For employees who worked 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, the payment will be $1,200 per employee, per fortnight. For those working less than 80 hours during the periods as above, the payment will be $750 per fortnight. This will also apply to sole traders and other eligible business participants (EBPs), however, it should be noted that EBPs will only need to prove the working hours test for the period of February, so not June as well. EPBs will need to provide a declaration stating the hours they worked during February 2020. This declaration is not yet available via the ATO. There are also alternative tests to prove employee working hours (but not available at the time of writing this blog – to be updated).
JobKeeper 2.0 Extension 2
Extension period 2 will be from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021. To be eligible for this extension period, you must prove that your business or not-for-profit suffered an actual decline in GST turnover* for the period October to December 2020 as compared to the same period last year.
Payment rates for extension period 2 will be reduced from that of extension period 1. For employees who worked 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, the payment will be $1,000 per employee, per fortnight. For those working less than 80 hours during the periods as above, the payment will be $650 per fortnight. This also applies to sole traders and other business participants.
Employers and EBPs will need to nominate which payment tier applies to their employees or themselves prior to the start of JobKeeper 2.0. At the time of writing this blog, it is believed that this action will occur via STP in your accounting software.
The JobKeeper 2.0 program will continue to require the lodgement of a monthly report to the ATO to ensure and trigger receipt of payments. The report will require that you advise of your quarterly turnover and it is expected that the 2019 figures will be prefilled into the report. That being the case, if you haven’t yet lodged your 2019 Sept or Dec BAS’s, you should get your skates on and do this immediately to avoid payment delays. It should be noted that the ATO will review the figure you input into the monthly report for the September 2020 quarter against that of your actual lodged BAS – they will be watching and checking! Your previous monthly turnover figures will also need to be reported. It is unknown at the time of writing this blog whether you will need to provide a projected figure for the following month as you do currently.
*Note, the sale of business assets is included in the current GST turnover for the purposes of JobKeeper 2.0. This has changed from JobKeeper 1.0.
For JobKeeper 2.0, the following eligiblity criteria apply:
- must be employed by an eligible employer (even if stood down or re-hired)
- be full or part time or if casual, be employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months as at 1 July 2020.
- be 18 years old at 1 July 2020 (if 16 or 17, may qualify if dependent or not undertaking full time study)
- is an Australian resident
- is not receiving parental leave or Dad and Partner pay
- is not receiving Australian worker compensation payments due to being incapable of working.
- is in receipt of JobKeeper from only one employer
- if self-employed, meets the turnover test for the relevant period and is not employed by another employer.