The Federal Government has today announced the extension of JobKeeper payments for six months beyond the end of September to assist in phasing out parts of the Government’s economic support.

The two key changes announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison are:

  • the turnover reduction test will be applied twice during the extended period
  • the reduced rates of payments based on a two-tier system reflective of hours worked

Both JobKeeper and JobSeeker will continue to be paid at the current rates until the end of September, however JobKeeper payments will be at a lower rate during an extended six-month period up to March 2021.

Under the extended scheme, there will be a two-tier payment system based on the number of hours worked to reflect the level of support needed for casual and part-time workers.

From October, the new JobKeeper rate will be $1200 per employee, per fortnight. The reduced rate for employees who work less than 20 hours will be $750 per employee, per fortnight.

The rates will be further reduced from 4 January down to $1000 per employee, per fortnight and $650 for those who work less than 20 hours.

The turnover test remains unchanged from the first six months of the JobKeeper scheme. Under the extended scheme, the turnover test will be reapplied twice, once in October and again in January, to ensure support payments match businesses’ genuine need for financial assistance moving into the economic recovery phase.

The Prime Minister said this approach is part of phasing the Australian community out of the elevated levels of support that have been provided by the Australian Government during the COVID-19 economic and health crisis.

The Economic Statement will be released on Thursday to reconcile the fiscal impact of the economic support packages made to date have had on the Australia economy.

The announcement follows the Australian Government’s mandatory mid-point review of the JobKeeper program. The review concluded JobKeeper is a “proven delivery mechanism to deliver widespread support at scale”, and that it has met its objectives to save businesses and jobs, maintain the formal connection between employer and employee, and provide necessary income support.

Payments

There will be a two-tier payment system under the extended scheme based on “hours worked” to accurately prescribe the level of support needed for casual and part-time workers.

From October, the new JobKeeper rate will be $1200 per employee, per fortnight. The reduced rate for employees who work less than 20 hours will be $750 per employees, per fortnight.

The rates will be further reduced from 4 January down to $1000 per employee, per fortnight and $650 for those who work less than 20 hours.

Eligibility

Businesses with pre-COVID annual revenues of up to $1 billion must have reported a 30% loss in turnover and businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 billion must have reported a 50% loss in turnover.

The turnover test will be reapplied twice, once in October and again in January, to ensure support payments match businesses’ genuine need for financial assistance moving into the economic recovery phase.

Further detail can be found here.


Do you have any questions about eligibility, the application process, obligations and flexibilities for employers and administering payments?

AMMA’s specialist Workplace Consulting team is available to assist members in understanding and accessing the JobKeeper scheme.

Contact your local AMMA office or email [email protected].