The Australian Government has announced cuts to payments under the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes but has extended their life spans.
JobKeeper 1.0 will remain till 27 September 2020 and thereafter, JobKeeper 2.0 will continue for a further six months till 28 March 2021.
There will be two rates of JobKeeper payments for eligible businesses (including self-employed) and not-for-profits:
1. From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 - for eligible employees and business participants who worked:
20 hours or more a week on average in the month of February 2020 – A$1200 per fortnight, and
less than 20 hours a week on average in the month of February 2020 – A$750 per fortnight.
2. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 - for eligible employees and business participants who worked:
20 hours or more a week on average in the month of February 2020 – A$1000 per fortnight, and
less than 20 hours a week on average in the month of February 2020 – A$650 per fortnight.
The JobKeeper payment will be tapered in the December and March quarters to encourage businesses to adjust to the new environment, supporting a gradual transition to economic recovery.
The ATO will have discretion to set alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 reference period.
Decline in Turnover Test – More testing points
The thresholds for the decline in turnover test will remain the same but now the test must be applied at several points:
1. From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021:
businesses and not-for-profits must satisfy the relevant decline in turnover test for the June quarter and for the September quarter based on actual GST turnover.
2. From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021:
businesses and not-for-profits must satisfy the relevant decline in turnover test for each of the June, September and December quarters based on actual GST turnover.
The government wants to ensure that only the businesses that need the most help will continue to receive the payments.
The JobKeeper payment remains open to new recipients that meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.
Pay everything to employees
Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee (i.e. the wage condition).
The temporary JobSeeker coronavirus supplement has now been extended from the end of September to 31 December 2020.
After September 2020 however:
The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will decrease to A$250 a fortnight from A$550.
Therefore, people on JobSeeker will receive a decrease from A$1100 to A$800 (base rate of A$550 plus the coronavirus supplement) per fortnight.
Recipients will be allowed to earn A$300 a fortnight before facing a reduction in their Government payment.
Easing of restrictions for sole traders.
The new rules will take some understanding and those receiving benefits may no longer qualify.
If you need assistance in interpreting whether you qualify or not, please contact any of the team at May Klye & Associates on 03 9585 7555 or email email@example.com