The Federal Government has extended the JobKeeper support scheme for a further six-month period, which will extend payments through until the end of March 2021. These new rules apply for the JobKeeper fortnight starting 28 September 2020.

The extension includes a few changes to reduce the payment rate for some employees, while also extending availability of JobKeeper to additional employees. The extension includes a requirement to show actual downturn to business revenue too.

What you need to know now:

  • If you have registered for JobKeeper prior to 28 September, there is no need to re-enrol.
  • If employees are already enrolled with you, there is no need to re-enrol the them.
  • The same rules apply for both Eligible Business Participants and Employees
    • Determine whether employees are in ‘Tier 1’ or ‘Tier 2 based on the hours worked for the four weeks before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 (use the one which gives the higher hours)
    • Tier 1: Worked 80 hours or more
    • Tier 2: Worked less than 80 hours
  • Employees that were long term casual for 12 months at as 1 July 2020 are now eligible (this was previously 12 months at 1 March).
  • In addition, any new full-time, part-time, or fixed-term employees as at 1 July 2020 may also be eligible.
  • The decline in turnover for businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $1 billion remains at 30% or more.

The extension is broken into two separate payment periods:

Extension 1

  • Pay periods 28 September 2020 – 3r January 2021
  • Actual GST turnover must have fallen by 30% in the September 2020 quarter compared to the comparable period (i.e. September 2019 quarter)
  • Rates of minimum payment to employee will reduce to:
    • Tier 1 Employees – $1,200 per fortnight
    • Tier 2 Employees – $750 per fortnight

Extension 2

  • Pay periods 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021
  • Actual GST turnover must have fallen by 30% in the December 2020 quarter compared to a comparable period (i.e. December 2019 quarter)
  • Rates of minimum payment to employee will reduce to:
    • Tier 1 Employees $1,000 per fortnight
    • Tier 2 Employees $650 per fortnight

What do I need to do now?

  • Businesses should assess their eligibility based on turnover before making any top up payments to employees in October 2020 pay runs and again in January 2021.
  • Just because you received the JobKeeper prior to the 28 September, you must still reassess for Extension 1 and then Extension 2 separately – there is no automatic qualification for these
  • If you are not eligible for Extension 1, you may still qualify for Extension 2 if you meet the eligibility criteria in that period
  • If a business was not registered for JobKeeper prior to 27 September 2020 payment fortnight, but becomes eligible in one of the extension periods, the business must register themselves and applicable employees for JobKeeper to receive payment
  • Carefully work out each individual employees’ Tier for payments. This must be reported to the ATO, and is important to ensure the right amount is paid each fortnight. Register any new eligible employees with the ATO as soon as possible.

For more information and examples refer to the Treasury and ATO webpages.

These can be found at:
Treasury Links:
1. https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension
2. https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Fact_sheet-JobKeeper_Payment_extension_1.pdf
ATO Links:
1. https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/JobKeeper-extension-announcement/