Walker Wayland - Perth Accountants

Aug 2020 3 Minutes

Further Guidance on JobKeeper 2.0

Significant changes were announced to the extended JobKeeper scheme late last week. The two changes announced last week were to the decline in turnover test and the test date for eligible employees.

 

1 July 2020 test date

The test date for eligible employees will be changed from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. The effective date of this change will be 3 August 2020. Accordingly, this change will have an impact on both the existing scheme and the extended scheme after 27 September 2020.

The 3 August 2020 effective date coincides with JobKeeper fortnight 10 in the existing scheme. That is, from 3 August 2020, the test date for eligible employees will be 1 July 2020.

The impact of this will be that employees who were not eligible to be included in the scheme previously as they failed the eligible employee tests on 1 March 2020 could become eligible if they satisfied these tests between 2 March 2020 and 1 July 2020. The tests that need to be met for an eligible employee on 1 July 2020 are that the employee was:

  • employed on a full-time, part-time or long-term casual basis;
  • either 18 years or above, or 16 or 17 and either financially independent or not a full-time student; and
  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident or holder of a Special Category Visa.

Accordingly, employees who were previously ineligible could be included in the scheme if during the period 2 March 2020 – 1 July 2020 an employee:

  • was hired on a full-time or part-time basis;
  • became long-term casual employees (were employed for 12 months);
  • became Australian citizens, permanent residents or holders of a Special Category Visa;
  • turned 18; or
  • were 16 or 17 and became either financially independent or ceased to be full-time students.

For Employers who had previously qualified for JobKeeper and have hired new employees since 1 March, or have employees who will now be eligible, this will represent an additional subsidy over and above their current JobKeeper receipts.

Further, there is a risk that employers will breach the “one in, all in” rule by not including employees who became eligible between 2 March 2020 – 1 July 2020. To comply with the “one in, all in” rule, employee nomination notices need to be provided to these employees as soon as possible.

 

What needs to happen next

As JobKeeper fortnight 10 commenced on 3 August 2020, employers will have only until 16 August 2020 to ensure that any new eligible employees are included in the scheme.

This will require the following:

  • employee nomination notices to be obtained from these employees as soon as possible; and
  • ensuring that employees have been paid $1,500 in respect of fortnight 10 or if not, any ‘top-up’ payments to $1,500 for that fortnight are made by 16 August 2020.

The ATO has currently not provided any guidance on whether employers will be provided any extension to ensure that these requirements are met for new eligible employees for JobKeeper fortnight 10.

Given that these changes were only announced on Thursday last week, it would be reasonable for the ATO to grant such an extension. However, at this stage, it appears that these requirements will need to be met by the end of this week.

Please contact us if you have any questions in relation to the changes in the extended JobKeeper scheme.