JobKeeper update: announcement of extension to March 2021

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On 21 July, the Federal Government announced that its extending JobKeeper until 28 March 2021 while introducing refinements to ensure that it is targeted to support those organisations which continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. 

 

Existing JobKeeper payments and eligibility 

Firstly, note that there is no change to JobKeeper (payments or eligibility) up to 30 September 2020. This is great news for all businesses currently eligible for JobKeeper. Even if your business is starting to recover, youll remain eligible to the end of September as was originally announced. 

 

Changes announced today, effective from October 2020 to March 2021 

JobKeeper payments post September 2020 are being referred to as the JobKeeper Extension. So, for this article we will use this name when referring to JobKeeper post September 2020. 

If your business is still being adversely affected by COVID-19, then its likely you may be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension. 

From 28 September 2020, eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods, the payment will be stepped down and paid at two rates. 

 

1. Eligibility

December quarter 2020

Businesses seeking to claim the JobKeeper Extension payments for the December quarter 2020 will be required to reassess their eligibility in October 2020 with reference to their actual turnover in the June and September quarters 2020 (i.e. last 2 quarters)Businesses will need to demonstrate that they have met the 30% continuing decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension in the December quarter 2020. 

 

March quarter 2021

Businesses seeking to claim the JobKeeper Extension payments for the March quarter 2021 will be required to reassess their eligibility in January 2021 with reference to their actual turnover in the June, September and December quarters 2020 (i.e. last 3 quarters).  

Businesses will need to demonstrate that they have met the 30% continuing decline in turnover test in all three of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Extension in the March quarter 2021. 

 

2. Payment rates

The payment rate will be reduced for the JobKeeper Extension and be paid at 2 different rates as follows: 

 

December quarter 2020

In the December quarter 2020, the JobKeeper Extension payment rate will be; 

  • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, were working in the business for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week, and 
  • $750 per fortnight for employees who were working in the business for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the same period. 

 

March quarter 2020

In the March quarter 2021, the JobKeeper Extension payment rate will be; 

  • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who in the four weeks before 1 March 2021, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week, and 
  • $650 per fortnight for employees who were working for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week in the same period. 

 

Full details of the JobKeeper extension can be found here.

 

Action required 

If you are currently eligible for JobKeeper up to September 2020 AND your business has not experienced an actual decline in sales of at least 30% for the September quarter and June quarter 2020

  • No action is required. Youll continue to receive JobKeeper for your eligible staff up to the original 30 September date. You wont be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Extension for the December quarter 2020 or the March quarter 2021. 

 

If you are currently eligible for JobKeeper up to September 2020 AND your business has suffered an ongoing actual decline in sales of at least 30% since April 2020.

  • Youll be eligible for the JobKeeper ExtensionWe anticipate that you will need to re-apply to receive the JobKeeper Extension for both the December 2020 quarter and the March 2021 quarter. There is no guidance yet on the exact mechanism to do this, but well share more details around this as we get nearer to the end of September.  

 

If you have not previously been eligible for JobKeeper, but you are now (because you have experienced a 30% decline) 

  • Determine if you satisfy the eligibility tests, then enrol for JobKeeper up until September 2020. 
  • It is not clear how businesses who become eligible for JobKeeper in July/August/September will be treated in terms of eligibility for the JobKeeper Extension. More details on this to come. 

 

Please reach out to us at Link if you need any help with JobKeeper or the JobKeeper Extension.  

 

For more details, which are regularly updated, surrounding the JobKeeper extension head over to our JobKeeper page here.