Stricter tests apply for JobKeeper 2.0

JobKeeper 2.0 has now commenced for eligible Australian businesses, charities and not-for-profits (NFPs) registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
Eligibility for JobKeeper 2.0 covers two extension periods from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (Extension Period 1) and then from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (Extension Period 2). This update summarises the key points based on the legislation and ATO rules.

New actual turnover test

The turnover test now requires that entities that qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 payments have recently experienced an actual decline in turnover and this will be determined by your BAS accounting method (cash or accruals).

There is no longer flexibility to calculate turnover differently; however, the ATO is expected to release further rules around alternative tests for instances when the comparable period of the same time last year is not appropriate.

The decline in turnover percentage remains the same, ie. 30% for businesses and 15% for Australian charities and NFPs registered with ACNC.

The actual decline in turnover test must be separately satisfied for Extension Period 1 and Extension Period 2. This means the Extension Period is open for businesses and NFPs that may not have previously enrolled for JobKeeper.

Tapered assistance to eligible employees and business participants (including sole traders)

While employee eligibility in relation to length of employment remains unchanged, JobKeeper 2.0 tapers assistance to all eligible employees and business participants.

The payment rate applicable to an employee will be determined by reference to actual hours the employee worked within an applicable ‘reference period’. 

The reference period will generally cover the last two consecutive fortnightly pay periods (or the last four consecutive weekly pay periods) ending prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.

A higher rate will be paid if an employee’s total hours were 80 hours or more over an applicable 28-day period. The lower rate will be applied where the total hours worked are less than 80 hours for the applicable 28-day period.

The following guide indicates the top tier and lower tier range of payments.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021

Top Tier:          $1,200 per fortnight
Lower Tier:     $750 per fortnight

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

Top Tier:          $1,000 per fortnight
Lower Tier:     $650 per fortnight

Monthly Reporting and JobKeeper payment from the ATO will remain monthly, in arrears.

As we move to the next phase of the JobKeeper program our team will continue to support you and provide services that will help you navigate new accessibility requirements under the program.

Hopscotch Director Brendan Lucas recently hosted a webinar discussing all the new updates to JobKeeper. This update summarises the key points based on the legislation and ATO rules. If you missed it you can view the JobKeeper webinar and all the associated questions below.

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