Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the JobKeeper scheme will be extended until 28th March 2021, an additional 6 months on top of the original September end date. The revised scheme will see a more targeted approach to the scheme with a two-tier system of progressively reduced payments and eligibility of businesses reviewed in both October and January.
Changes to the current JobKeeper scheme come after Treasury research showed that 1 in 4 employees was actually receiving more money on the scheme than in their pre-COVID-19 wage. This has prompted concerns that the current Jobkeeper scheme may actually act as a disincentive to work, prompting the pay rate to be revised and reduced.
To be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 businesses will need to demonstrate an actual decline in turnover of 30 - 50 per cent. The initial test will take place in October, followed by another in January to identify which businesses require further assistance from those who are recovering well.
In line with the Jobkeeper payment reductions, the Jobseeker coronavirus supplement will also drop from $550 a fortnight to $250 in October and run through until 31st December 2020. The aim is to encourage recipients to take up job opportunities as businesses reopen.
- Current Jobkeeper $1500 fortnightly payment will run, without change, until 27th September 2020
- From 28th September 2020 fortnightly, JobKeeper payments will reduce to $1200 for full-time employees / $750 for part-time employees (20 hours or less)
- From 4th January 2021 payments will reduce again to $1000 for full-time employees / $650 for part-time employees (20 hours or less)
- JobKeeper 2.0 ends 28th March 2021
- To be eligible for JobKeeper post 28 September 2020, organisations will only have to demonstrate that their actual turnovers have significantly declined in the previous quarter.
- Businesses will need to take a turnover test in October 2020 and again in January 2021 to prove continuing decline.
- Eligible businesses must show a 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less or 50 per cent decline for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion
- Eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged except for a change to the employee reference date - from 3 August 2020 the relevant date of employment for an eligible employee will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, expanding employee eligibility.
- Jobseeker coronavirus supplement will also drop from $550 a fortnight to $250 in October and run through until 31st December 2020.
- From 25 September 2020, the assets test and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period will be reintroduced
- From 25 September 2020 the JobSeeker Payment partner income test will increase from 25 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $996 per fortnight to 27 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $1,165 per fortnight
- The income free area for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (Other) increased from $106 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight
- The taper rate will be simplified from a dual taper of 50 cents and 60 cents to a single taper of 60 cents
- Reduced waiting times, including the Ordinary Waiting Period, Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period (NARWP) and the Seasonal Work Preclusion Period, will continue to be waived until 31 December 2020
More information can be found via the ATO website.