The Federal Government has extended the JobKeeper payment until March 2021.
The JobKeeper Payment is a scheme to support businesses significantly affected by the Coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs. The JobKeeper Payment is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.
The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021.
The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates of $750 per fortnight will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week. This will change to $650 per fortnight from 4 January to 28 March 2021.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits across the Lachlan Shire and the country, seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover).
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the June and September quarters 2020. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW, said the confirmed extension to the JobKeeper wage subsidy would be welcomed by the Western NSW business community.
“Many of the changes to the JobKeeper wage subsidy are in line with what we have been advocating for and part of our recommendations we made in our recent “Back on Track” report,” Business NSW, Regional Manager – Western NSW, Vicki Seccombe, explained.
“JobKeeper has been a critical pillar of the response to the economic crisis, but it did come with some adverse effects for our businesses which have been addressed with the announcement.
“The extension and targeted changes will support those industries most heavily impacted by restrictions and consumer demand, as well as providing much needed confidence for all businesses to plan for the next six months.”
To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of: 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion; 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities).
If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.
The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period. Other eligibility rules for businesses and not-for-profits and their employees remain unchanged.
Businesses can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form. After businesses enrol, they will need to identify their specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO.
By Melissa Blewitt.