Extension of the JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper payment that was due to finish on 27 September 2020 has been extended until 28 March 2021. The extension will be broken down into two periods; period 1 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021) and period 2 (4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021).

Eligibilty Tests

Period 1 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021)

To be eligible for Period 1 an employer must have a decline in actual GST turnover in, both the June 2020 quarter (April, May and June) and the September 2020 quarter (July, August and September) compared to the relative period in the prior year.

Period 2 (4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021)

To be eligible for Period 2 and employer must have a decline in actual GST turnover in the June 2020 quarter (April, May and June), September 2020 quarter (July, August and September) and December 2020 Quarter (October, November & December) compared to the relative period in the prior year.

Decline in Turnover rates

The decline in turnover rates remain the same as the existing rates:
  • 50 percent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
  • 30 percent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or
  • 15 percent for Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities)

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019, in line with the Commissioner's existing discretion.

Businesses and not-for-profits 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 and not-for-profits that are not required to lodge a BAS.

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 and not-for-profits 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.

JobKeeper Payment Rates

Period 1 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021)

During JobKeeper Period 1 the payment rates are:

  • $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees that worked an average of 20 hours or more per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020 and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average for the month of February 2020. 
  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

Period 2 (4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021)

During JobKeeper Period 2 the payment rates are:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employees that worked an average of 20 hours or more per week in the four weeks before 1 March 2020 and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average for the month of February 2020. 
  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.
Note: Employers receiving JobKeeper will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each eligible employee or business participant.

Employees

The Eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged and employees are eligible if:

  • The employee is currently employed by the employer including if they have been stood down or re-hired.
  • Worked for the employer on 1 March 2020 as one of the following:
    • A full time or part time employee
    • A long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months and not employed on a permanent basis by another employer).
  • Were aged 18 or older at 1 March 2020 (unless the employee is 16 or 17, independent and not undertaking full time study).
  • Are either:
    • An Australian resident.
    • An Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020.
  • Did not receive either of the following payments in the JobKeeper fortnight:
    • Government parental leave or Dad and Partner pay
    • A payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual's total incapacity for work.

Only one employer can claim the JobKeeper Payment in respect of an employee. 

The self-employed will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they meet the relevant turnover test and are not a permanent employee of another employer.

Employees will continue to receive the JobKeeper Payment through their employer during the period of the extension if they and their employer are eligible and their employer is claiming the JobKeeper Payment. However, the amount of the JobKeeper Payment will change at the rates set out above.

Additional Information

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.