As flagged in our previous article around JobKeeper and JobSeeker extensions on 21 July 2020, the Federal Government are intending to extend the JobKeeper scheme beyond the originally planned finish date of 27 September 2020, named JobKeeper 2.0.
This is intended to allow businesses continuing to suffer a decline in turnover to continue to receive assistance in paying their employees until 3 January 2021 and potentially until 28 March 2021 with modified turnover tests & reduced subsidy amounts.
The government have now announced the following changes to JobKeeper 2.0.
Required Turnover Tests Reduced
- To receive the JobKeeper extension to 3 January 2021, businesses will now only need to compare their September 2020 quarter to September 2019 quarter (not the June quarter)
- To receive the JobKeeper extension to 28 March 2021, businesses now only need to compare their December 2020 quarter to December 2019 quarter (not all three quarters).
Later Employment Date
- The test date at which an employee was required to have been employed by the business has changed from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020.
The turnover test changes will be particularly welcome for those unfortunate businesses impacted by the recent Victorian lockdowns, who may otherwise have been ineligible for the extension if their June quarter results did not show the required decline, regardless of what happened in the September quarter and onwards.
The revised employment test date should also allow more employees to qualify, including those who might have been engaged by businesses as conditions began to improve after initial restrictions eased.
Other aspects of the announced extension are as yet unchanged, but it should be noted that amended legislation is yet to be passed by Parliament (anticipated 24th August 2020), nor has the Government finalized the revisions to the detailed JobKeeper rules. Details of any alternative reduction in turnover tests (similar to those made available by the ATO in the first round) are also yet to be announced. So make sure you watch this space as there may be more changes to come yet!
Should you have any questions about the above, or wish to understand how it might impact on your business, our team are here to help so please don’t hesitate to talk with us.