Sadly, many Australian businesses are a long way from trending back to ‘normal’ as we approach 27 September 2020, the original date that JobKeeper was set to end. Thankfully the government has announced an extension of the JobKeeper Payment, with additional turnover qualifications.
The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021.
The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will also apply for employees and eligible business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover). Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of at least:
- 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
- 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less;
- 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities).
If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.
The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.