Update: JobKeeper 2020

Camphin Boston | August 2020

Subsequent to the Australian federal government’s announcement of further changes to the JobKeeper (Wage Subsidy) Payment scheme on 7 August 2020, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 7) 2020 (“Rules”) have now been made a legislative instrument (“Instrument”) by the Treasury to give effect to the extension of JobKeeper Payment to eligible employees with reference to the 1 July 2020 testing date.

This amendment applies not only to JobKeeper Payment 2.0 in the extended period (from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021) but also to the current JobKeeper Payment 1.0 (which was scheduled to expire on 27 September 2020).

To be an eligible employee:

  • They met the existing eligibility requirements on 1 March 2020 (for fortnights both before and starting on / after 3 August 2020). Please refer JobKeeper 1.0 Payment for the 1 March 2020 test.

Where an eligible employee met the 1 March 2020 test prior to the amendment, their eligibility is preserved and is not required to be re-tested by reference to the new 1 July 2020 date.

  • They met the same eligibility requirements on 1 July 2020 (in lieu of 1 March 2020) (for fortnights starting on / after 3 August 2020).

From the fortnight starting on 3 August 2020, this means that employees who were previously ineligible under the 1 March 2020 test may now become eligible for the JobKeeper Payment under the new 1 July 2020 test. These employees include (but not limited to) those who:

  • were newly employed by another eligible employer on 1 July 2020 provided they ceased to be an employee or business participant of another business before 1 July 2020 (and met the other eligibility conditions on 1 July 2020).
  • were an eligible employee on 1 March 2020 but ceased employment after 1 March 2020 and were subsequently re-hired by the same eligible employer by 1 July 2020. 

If the employee is re-hired after 1 July 2020, their 1 March 2020 eligibility can be preserved provided they are not re-nominated as an eligible employee of another qualifying employer.

  • were not a long term casual employee of an eligible employer for 12 months on 1 March 2020 but were one as at 1 July 2020.
  • were not aged 16 years on 1 March 2020 but have reached 16 by 1 July 2020 (and were living independently or not undertaking full time study on 1 July 2020).

Under the Rules, an eligible employer must provide a notice to its new and re-hired eligible employees within 7 days from the commencement of this Instrument.

This notice is the employee nomination notice which the employee must complete to confirm that they agree to be nominated as an eligible employee of that employer and have not nominated another qualifying employer to receive their JobKeeper Payment. Technically, this notice requirement must be met by this Friday 24 August 2020.

It is important to note that the JobKeeper Payment scheme applies on an “one in all in” principle. Therefore, if you are an eligible employer already claiming the payment, you have no choice but to review whether your employees who failed the 1 March 2020 test should now be eligible under the 1 July 2020 test.

Furthermore, to claim JobKeeper Payment for the fortnights in August 2020, you must enrol any new eligible employees under the 1 July 2020 test with the Australian Taxation Office, as well as meet the wage condition by 31 August 2020.

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