JobKeeper 2.0 Bill passed by Federal Parliament
The JobKeeper Amendment Bill 2020 was passed by Federal Parliament last week. At this stage what is outlined below is all we know. We are still awaiting further details regarding “Actual GST Turnover” as previously we had the option to nominate GST turnover on either a Cash or Accrual Basis. We are also waiting on details regarding the “Alternative Tests”
Below are the key changes to the scheme:
Extending the period of operation
The JobKeeper scheme and the provisions that allow employers to temporarily vary the working arrangements will now end on 28 March 2021.
New payment rates
The current JobKeeper subsidy rate for full-time workers of $1,500 a fortnight will drop to $1,200 from 28 September 2020, and then to $1,000 a fortnight from January 2021. Meanwhile, those who worked less than 20 hours per week in the relevant reference period (being the four-week pay period before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020) will receive $750 from 28 September 2020, and then to $650 a fortnight from January 2021.
Employers who no longer qualify for JobKeeper after 28 September will be classified as legacy employers, and will have to satisfy a 10% decline in turnover to have access to modified JobKeeper enabling directions.
Decline in Turnover Test Certificate
Employers will need to obtain a 10% decline in turnover test certificate from an eligible financial service provider, including a BAS or Tax agent.
These modified directions include reducing an employee’s ordinary hours to a minimum of 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours as they were at 1 March 2020, but cannot result in the employee working less than two consecutive hours in a day.
A dispute can be brought before the Fair Work Commission about whether an employer holds a 10% decline in turnover certificate for the relevant period, including a dispute about whether a certificate is valid.
A penalty of up to $13,320 for individuals and $66,600 for body corporates or employers will be imposed if an employer doesn’t meet the 10% decline in turnover test and knowingly or recklessly tries to use the provisions or fails to notify employees that a JobKeeper enabling direction or agreement is not continuing due to not having met the requirements.
JobKeeper Turnover Test Requirements (from 28 September 2020)
● Businesses looking to claim the JobKeeper payment will be required to demonstrate that they experienced a decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover.
● Businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (the first extension period).
JobKeeper Turnover Test Requirements (from 4 January 2021)
● Businesses will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they suffered a decline with reference to their actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (the second extension period).
The required decline in GST turnover percentages will remain the same:
● 30% for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less
● 50% for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion
● 15% for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools.