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JobKeeper 2.0 – What Are The Changes?

JobKeeper 2.0 – What Are The Changes?

The Federal Government has announced that JobKeeper will be extended, known as JobKeeper 2.0. The key implications are detailed within this article.

21st July 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Current numbers of COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in part of the country indicate that Australia’s economic recovery may be slower than previously anticipated. Indeed, economic experts had previously warned that Australia was due to ‘fall off an economic cliff’ when JobKeeper and other COVID-19 response plans lapsed in September. However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have today announced the JobKeeper 2.0 wage subsidy scheme, set to begin from September 28. These are the important dates;

  • 27 September 2020 – Current JobKeeper scheme ends.
  • 28 September 2020 – Revamped JobKeeper 2.0 scheme begins.
  • 28 March 2021 – Revamped JobKeeper 2.0 scheme set to end, with another scheme set to take effect.

This article details the key changes to the JobKeeper program for employers and employees.

Business Eligibility

Businesses must be able to demonstrate they have suffered a continuous decline in turnover to be eligible for the revamped program.

  • 28 September – 3 January 2021 – Businesses are required to re-assess eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover in the June and September quarters of 2020. In doing so, businesses must meet the relevant decline in turnover test (must prove actual GST turnover has fallen in June & September quarters relative to corresponding quarters of the previous year).
  • 4 January – 28 March 2021 – Businesses are required to re-assess eligibility with reference to actual GST turnover in June, September and also December Quarters of 2020 to remain eligible. In doing so, businesses must meet the relevant decline in turnover test (must prove actual GST turnover has fallen in June, September & December 2020 quarters relative to corresponding quarters of the previous year).

The relevant decline in turnover tests are;

  • Turnover less than $1 billion 30%
  • Turnover more than $1 billion50%

Employee Eligibility

Employee eligibility rules have not changed. These rules state employees must be;

  • Currently employed by an eligible employer (or were stood down/re-hired due to COVID-19);
  • 18 years or older;
  • An Australian resident;
  • At 1 March 2020, a full-time, part-time or also fixed-term employee, or;
  • At 1 March 2020, a long-term casual employee (employed on a regular basis for 12 months).

Subsidy Payments

The Federal government has indicated that the scheme will switch from a flat $1500 fortnightly payment to a two-tiered system. The purpose of this is to prevent those working fewer hours from unduly benefitting from the scheme. The rates of payments will also change across two periods. The below rates are fortnightly rates.

Period 1: 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021

Employment StatusFortnightly Payment
Tier 1: Eligible employees working over 20 hours per week. (Includes part-time and also long term casual employees)$1,200
Tier 2: Eligible employees working less than 20 hours per week. (Includes part-time and also long term casual employees)$750

Period 2: 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021

Employment StatusFortnightly Payment
Tier 1: Eligible employees working over 20 hours per week. (Includes part-time and also long term casual employees)$1,000
Tier 2: Eligible employees working less than 20 hours per week. (Includes part-time and also long term casual employees)$650

More detailed information on the changes to the JobKeeper program can also be found here.

Key Takeaways

  • Businesses must prove eligibility twice to keep receiving the JobKeeper payment beyond 27 September 2020 & also 3 January 2021.
  • JobKeeper 2.0 will end on 28 March 2021.
  • JobKeeper payments are changing from a flat payment of $1500/fortnight to a two-tiered system.
  • Likewise, payments will vary depending on the number of hours employees work per week.
  • If you require advice on the changes to JobKeeper for your business, contact a business lawyer for further advice.

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Author
Alistair Maclennan

Alistair is a Legal Intern at Lawpath. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University. He is primarily interested in how changes in the digital space influence business activity, privacy, and freedom of speech.