On 6 August 2020, Josh Frydenberg announced additional changes to the JobKeeper 2.0 program to 28 March 2021, easing some of the eligibility criteria for staff and amending some of the reduction in turnover requirements for businesses. The treasurer cited the stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne as the reason for these amendments.

Under the previous changes, dubbed JobKeeper 2.0, employees may have failed the eligibility requirements if they were not employed on 1 March 2020. However, under these new proposed changes, employees may now be eligible for JobKeeper payments from 3 August 2020 if they were employed as at 1 July 2020.

In addition, businesses will no longer need to reassess their eligibility with reference to the actual turnover for the June 2020 quarter. Instead, this will be a requirement for the September and December 2020 quarters.

Eligibility

Under the proposed changes, businesses will now need to pass on projected or actual GST turnover test as follows.

30 March to 27 September 202028 September to 3 January 20214 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
Decline in turnoverProjected GST turnover for a relevant month or quarter is expected to fall by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same period in 2019.*Actual GST turnover in the September 2020 quarter (July, August & September) fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019. The decline for the quarter needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.Actual GST turnover in the December 2020 quarter (October, November & December) fell by at least 30% (15% for ACNC-registered charities, 50% for large businesses) compared to the same periods in 2019. The decline for the quarter needs to be met to continue receiving JobKeeper payments.

* Alternative tests potentially apply where a business fails the basic test and does not have a relevant comparison period.

There are no changes to the turnover reporting method, time extensions for wage payments, or the Alternative Tests.

There are also no changes to the reduction in amounts previously announced – from $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200/$750 from 28 September 2020, and to $1,000/$600 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. The assessment of whether an employee has worked more or less than 20 hours per week will also remain unchanged. For more details on this, please refer to our email of 22 July 2020.

Please note that these amendments are currently draft proposals at this stage and may be subject to further change.

Assistance

Hoffman Kelly can assist you to understand your eligibility with the process of applying for JobKeeper.  Please give your accountant a call to discuss it with them further.