On 21 July, the Treasurer announced an extension of the JobKeeper scheme beyond 27 September 2020 for an additional 13 fortnights commencing 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.

The modifications apply in two stages (28 September – 3 January 2021, and 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021).

Employers seeking to claim JobKeeper payments for the additional periods will need to reassess their eligibility and pass additional decline in turnover tests. The additional tests will be based on actual GST turnover rather than projected GST turnover, although it remains to be seen where there will be any flexibility in the methods that are used to calculate GST turnover.

  • In order to qualify for JobKeeper payments for the period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 the entity will need to pass a decline in turnover test for both the June 2020 quarter and the September 2020 quarter.
  • In order to qualify for JobKeeper payments for the period 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 the entity will need to pass a decline in turnover test for each of the June 2020 quarter, the September 202 quarter and the December 2020 quarter.

Employee eligibility will remain broadly the same as for the initial scheme but the value of the JobKeeper payments will change from 28 September, with two tiers of payment depending on average weekly hours worked in February 2020.

At a high level, JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 will be paid at $1,200 per fortnight, although this reduces to $750 for those who worked less than 20 hours per week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020.

The payment rates will drop further to $1,000 and $600 respectively from 4 January 2021

Similar reductions apply to eligible business participants and the main question at this stage is how the average working hours will be determined. We will need to wait for further guidance on this point and for any alternative rules that will apply to employees and eligible business participants who had irregular hours or had other extenuating circumstances in February 2020.

This document contains general advice only and is prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs. The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should speak to a licensed financial advisor who should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances.  While The Field Group believes the information is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk. The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the corporations Act 2001.

About the author

The Field Group is composed of experts in the fields of Xero accounting, personal tax, self-managed superannuation, audit services, business services, bookkeeping, bench marking, business structuring and ATO Compliance. Based in Melbourne, The Field Group are also able to work with clients all over Australia and are the market leader for accounting services in the Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park, Lilydale and general Melbourne eastern suburb region.

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