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JobKeeper 2.0 - Update

The JobKeeper scheme has been a godsend to many small businesses and their employees endeavouring to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months, While initially scheduled to end in late September, the federal Government yesterday (22/07/20) announced an extension and changes to the scheme. This article details key features of the announcement:

  • JobKeeper has been extended until 28th March 2021

  • From 28th September (the originally planned end date), a two-tiered system will be introduced ("high tier" and "low tier");

    • Those eligible employees who worked 20 hours or more per week in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020 will be in the high tier, and the payment amount reduced to $1,200 per fortnight (instead of the current amount of $1,500) until 3 January, 2021. After this, the payment will reduce again to $1,000 until the new 28 March end date.
    • Those eligible employees who worked less than 20 hours (on average) in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020 will be in the lower tier, and the payment amount reduced to $750 per fortnight until 3 January, 2021. After this date, the payment will reduce further to $650 until 28 March, 2021.

  • While the same JobKeeper eligibility criteria will continue to apply for employees, changes to business eligibility have been announced which will likely significantly reduce the number of businesses eligible for the scheme beyond 28th September (businesses currently eligible under the original criteria will continue to receive payments until the end of September). 

    • While the revenue shortfall requirements will remain the same (that is; businesses with an annual turnover of less than $1 billion can claim if they have a revenue shortfall of 30% or more; businesses with an annual turnover of more than $1 billion can claim if they have a revenue shortfall of 50% or more, and; Registered charities and not for profits (excluding schools and universities) can claim if they have a revenue shortfall of 15% or more), the means by which businesses need to demonstrate the relevant shortfall is changing.
    • Forecasting a decline in revenue will from the 28th September no longer be sufficient for a business to be eligible. Businesses will need to be able to demonstrate that they've actually experienced the relevant revenue decline in each quarterly period – namely both June (April, May, June) and September (July, August, September). Business eligibility will be reassessed at the end of September 2020 and again in January 2021 (with January tests also having to include proof of revenue loss in the final quarter of 2020 – October, November, December). 
    • For most businesses, the eligibility test will require them to demonstrate revenue decline compared to a comparable period (most likely the same period last year). The ATO will continue to have discretion to apply alternative tests in certain situations.

  • ​Other key features of the scheme remain the same (eg. payments will continue to be made by the ATO to eligible employers in arrears and employers need to continue to pass on the full JobKeeper amount to eligible staff).  


​This article provides general information only and should not be relied upon as formal or legal advice. Refer to the ATO website for further details or seek the advice of your accountant. Of course, we can also provide additional info/support as required.

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