The JobKeeper payment has now extended to be available to eligible business and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021, but the payment rate will be reduced from 28 September 2020, including additional turn over tests.

Changes to payment rate:

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

  • The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and
  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants who, were working less than 20 hours a week.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

  • The payment rate of $1,200 per fortnight will be reduced to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021 for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and
  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants who, were working less than 20 hours a week.

Additional turnover tests

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment after 27 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will have to meet a further decline in turnover test for each of the two periods extension, as well as meeting the other existing eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper Payment.

In order to be eligible for the first JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in the both the June quarter 2020 (April, May and June) and the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

In order to be eligible for the second JobKeeper Payment extension period of 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will again need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

Businesses will generally be able to assess eligibility based on details reported in the Business Activity Statement (BAS). Alternative arrangements will be put in place for businesses that are not required to lodge a BAS (for example, if the entity is a member of a GST group). As the deadline to lodge a BAS for the September quarter or month is in late October, and the December quarter (or month) BAS deadline is in late January for monthly lodgers or late February for quarterly lodgers, businesses will need to assess their eligibility for JobKeeper in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition (which requires them to pay their eligible employees in advance of receiving the JobKeeper payment in arrears from the ATO). The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to extend the time an entity has to pay employees in order to meet the wage condition, so that entities have time to first confirm their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.

If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.

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.

Other eligibility rules for businesses and not-for-profits and their employees remain unchanged.

Further information for the above changes is at https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/

How can we help?

If you have any questions or would like further clarification in regards to the extension of JobKeeper payment, please feel free to contact us on 1300 885 761.