JobKeeper 2.1 – What you need to know
The information contained in this article is current as at 10 September 2020. To view information on the latest coronavirus updates, please visit our COVID-19 Updates, Webinars and Resources page or alternatively contact us on (03) 9560 2922 for further information on any recent changes.
The Federal Government has now has passed legislation to implement JobKeeper post-27 September 2020 when the scheme was originally scheduled to expire.
There have been a number of important changes to Jobkeeper 2.0 since it was first announced in July. In particular, there is now a less stringent turnover test and the scheme can also cover employees employed as of 1 July 2020, not just those employed as of 1 March 2020. We shall call this JobKeeper 2.1.
The key changes
The key changes to the JobKeeper scheme from JobKeeper 1.0 are as follows:
- The JobKeeper payments will be extended for another six months, until 28 March 2021.
- Employers will need to re-assess their eligibility for JobKeeper in each of the two quarters of the extended JobKeeper period. For businesses with less than $1 billion turnover, they will need to show that they have suffered a 30% reduction in turnover compared to their pre-COVID-19 turnover (15% for charities). Eligibility for the December 2020 quarter will depend on businesses showing they have suffered the required reduction in turnover in the September 2020 quarter (not both the June and September quarters, as was originally announced). A business’s eligibility in the March 2021 quarter will depend on the business having suffered the required reduction in turnover in the December 2020 quarter.
- There will be two classes of employees - those that worked 20 hours or more per week at the relevant date, and those that worked less than 20 hours per week at the relevant date. The relevant date can now be 1 March 2020 (the original date) or 1 July 2020. This means employees employed after 1 March 2020 can now be eligible for JobKeeper. Casual employees who have worked on a regular basis for the 12 months prior to 1 July 2020 can now also be eligible, where they might not have been eligible as of 1 March 2020. An employee’s hours of work will be calculated by taking the average of the four weekly pay periods prior to the relevant date. Those employees that worked 20 hours or more will receive the full JobKeeper payment, while those that worked less will receive a reduced rate.
- The JobKeeper payments are being scaled back from the $1,500.00 per fortnight per employee. The new pay rates will be as follows:
Employers should start considering now whether they will meet the new eligibility criteria from 28 September 2020 and plan accordingly. Employers that do expect to continue qualifying will need to factor in the reduced rates that they will receive on behalf of their employees that are earning wages in excess of the JobKeeper payments.
How can Sharrock Pitman Legal help?
If you have any further queries about JobKeeper and how these changes will impact your business, please feel free to get in touch. Contact our employment lawyers on 1300 205 506 and we will be happy to assist.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.
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For further information contact
Samuel Ellemor is a Senior Associate at Sharrock Pitman Legal practising in Employment Law, Commercial Law, and Charities & Not-for-Profit Law. For further information, contact Samuel on his direct line (03) 8561 3316.