Buried in the fine print of the JobKeeper 2.0 announcements (and thanks to the eagle-eye of one of our fabulous clients, thanks CM) we note that the test date for employee eligibility, even for the current JobKeeper 1.0 scheme, has now changed from employees who were on the books at 1 March 2020 to those who were on the books at 1 July 2020 (while still including anyone who qualified under the old rules).

This means (for example) new permanent full-time or part-time employees taken on between 1 March and 1 July may now also qualify for JobKeeper, or if your long-term casual turned 18 or clicked over 12 months of employment during this time, they may also now qualify.

The new rules apply to JobKeeper payment fortnights commencing 3 August, and new employees must be paid and registered by no later than 31 August (extended from 21 August).

The rules have changed (and will continue to evolve), so please ensure you talk to your friendly Halletts team member so you can be 100% certain you are JobKeeper compliant. We are here to help!

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The federal government has proposed an extension to the JobKeeper arrangements for eligible employers for the benefit of employees and eligible business participants until March 2021 (labelled ‘JobKeeper 2.0’ by Scotty from marketing). But the bar is being raised for employers to qualify and the amounts to be paid are being reduced. At this stage there are no changes or additional requirements to qualify for JobKeeper 1.0 which will still run until late September 2020.

In short, there will be linkages to hours previously worked and businesses will need to prove their eligibility again in order to keep receiving it. It remains open to new recipients who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below.

All businesses and non-profits wishing to continue receiving JobKeeper past 28 September 2020 will need to reassess their eligibility in relation to their actual GST turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods, and will need to demonstrate a decline in turnover for BOTH quarters in order to be eligible for the first 3 month extension to 3 January 2021. Even more importantly, this first re-assessment needs to be completed by the end of September and based on actual GST supplies, so your accounting systems will need to be kept right up to date!

To continue receiving JobKeeper after 3 January and until 28 March 2021, businesses will then need to meet the eligibility criteria again for all three of the June, September and December 2020 quarters.

The qualifying pay periods still go back to the 4 weeks before 1 March 2020, but now those who worked 20 hours per week or more (on average) during that time will receive $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021, and all eligible ‘others’ will receive $750 per fortnight for the same 3 months.

From 4 January – 28 March 2021 those who worked 20 hours per week or more (on average) will receive $1,000 per fortnight, and eligible others will receive $650 per fortnight.

You may find this infographic a useful summary of the new situation.

As always, we stand ready and at a socially appropriate distance 😊 to assist you to assess and gain everything you are legitimately entitled to and to help you come out the other side – please contact your friendly Halletts team member!

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Thought for the Day: Do JobKeeper payments affect your workers’ compensation premiums?

It’s worth checking with your insurer for each State and Territory – for example in this factsheet put out by the ACT Government, it states that JobKeeper payments made to employees may not be declarable as wages for your workers’ comp premium.

This means, in some circumstances, you don’t need to pay insurance on them.

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