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On 7 August, the Government modified the eligibility of JobKeeper Payment 2.0 (extended JobKeeper 1.0 to 28 March 2021), aiming to embrace more people and businesses who have been affected by the ongoing crisis. The change is in response to the undeniable second COVID-19 wave in Victoria, and the Government concerns the stricter requirement will shut out many people and business particularly based in Victoria.

So we will compare the modified version with the version issued on 21 July. For more information about the 21 July announced JobKeeper 2.0, please refer to our article JobKeeper and JobSeeker Have Been Extended.

Turnover Test

The same to the 21 July JobKeeper 2.0 announcement, businesses and Not-For-Profits are required to pass the turnover test in October 2020 and again in January 2021 to continue qualifying the JobKeeper Payment.

Contrary to the 21 July announcement – employers are required to demonstrate the decline in GST turnover for both their June and September quarter compared to the corresponding period in 2019, the 7 August relaxed announcement requested September quarter GST turnover decline only to be eligible for the upcoming JobKeeper 2.0 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021).

The same requirement will be applied to the second period of extended JobKeeper 2.0 (from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021). Now employers only need to reassess themselves based on the decline in the actual GST turnover of December quarter, compared to the corresponding period in 2019. Under the previously announced turnover test, employers would have to show a decline in GST turnover for June, September and December quarters of this year.

Eligibility relating to turnover test will remain the same as JobKeeper 1.0, businesses and Not-For-Profits have suffered either:

  • 50% drop or more (for aggregated turnover of $ 1 Billion or more)
  • 30% drop or more (for aggregated turnover less than $ 1 Billion)
  • 15% drop or more (for ACNC-registered charities excluding universities and schools)

Employee Eligibility

The 21 July announcement said Employee Eligibility test date is 01/03/2020, while the 7 August relaxed announcement makes Employee Eligibility test date either 01/03/2020 or 01/07/2020 to get more employees be qualified for JobKeeper 2.0. We believe the businesses have been suffering a lot from the pandemic and leading to their employees’ redundancy. The test date 01/07/2020 will make more new employees become eligible who got the job between March and July, which is quite necessary in the current situation.

Eligibility for JobKeeper 2.0:

  • Currently employed by the eligible employers (including stood-down or re-hired)
  • Employed by eligible employers (or one of the wholly owned entity)
    • The individual was either a full-time, part-time of fixed-term employee or
    • The individual was a long-term casual employee with at least 12 months service with the business as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer
  • On 1 July 2020, the individual was aged 18 or over (or if they were 16 or 17 years old and they were independent and not undertaking full-time study)
  • Were either:
    • an Australian Resident (under the meaning of Social Security Act 1991)
    • was an Australian Resident (as per Income Tax Assessment Act 1936) and held a Subclass 444 (special category) Visa as at 1 July 2020.
  • Did not receive any of the following government subsidies at any time during the JobKeeper fortnight:
    • government Parental Leave or Dad and Partner Pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 or
    • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.

Please bear in mind, most of the business will assess their eligibility against the turnover and submit their application based on their quarterly BAS lodgement. However, normally the due date of quarterly BAS lodgement will be the end of the following month of each quarter. Therefore, employers should reassess their JobKeeper Eligibility in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition. The Commissioner may extend the time for meeting the wage requirement so that businesses have time to first confirm their JobKeeper eligibility, eg. ATO has notified the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020 is allowed until 31 October 2020 for employers to meet the wage condition.