JobKeeper extended but there’s a catch

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced the JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months, offering businesses and their workers a continued lifeline.

Key points:

  • On 21 July the government announced proposed changes to JobKeeper including an extension through to 28 March 2021. These changes do not impact JobKeeper payments until after 28 September 2020.
  • You can enrol for the JobKeeper Payment at any time until the program closes if your circumstances have changed. Check if you are eligible at Enrol for JobKeeper.

The Treasurer said the extension of support recognised Australia’s economic recovery was still in its early stages and a number of businesses and individuals remained significantly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Government’s focus remains on reopening the economy where it is safe to do so, but the extension of these measures recognises that some parts of the economy will continue to be affected and need continued support,” the Treasurer said.

The JobKeeper Payment is currently due to finish on 27 September 2020, but will now remain available for eligible employers until 28 March 2021.

A two-tiered payment will also be introduced from 28 September, to align the payment with the incomes of employees before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees who were employed for less than 20 hours a week on average in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020 will receive the lower payment rate.

JobKeeper Payment rates from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021:

  • 28 Sept 2020 to 3 Jan 2021: $1,200 per fortnight
  • 4 Jan to 28 Mar 2021: $1,000 per fortnight

Eligibility test

From 28 September 2020, businesses, and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility by reference to their actual June and September quarter turnovers to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover.

Organisations will need to demonstrate that they have experienced the relevant decline in turnover in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment in the December quarter.

Employers will need to again reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment for the March quarter.

Employers will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in actual turnover in each of the previous three quarters ending on 31 December 2020 to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment in the March quarter 2021.

If they do not meet the turnover test in the extension period this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020. 

The continuation of JobKeeper for these businesses will help support the economic recovery and provide them with sufficient time to adjust.

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new participants that meet the eligibility requirements.

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