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COVID-19: jobkeeper 2.0

The Federal Government has announced an extension to the JobKeeper program.  Known as JobKeeper 2.0, this announcement extends the current end date of 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.

Despite initial speculation, the original JobKeeper program will run as planned until the end of September 2020. This means, businesses and employees currently receiving the JobKeeper Payment will continue to receive payments until the end of September 2020.

JobKeeper 2.0

The eligibility requirements and structure of JobKeeper 2.0 is similar to the original JobKeeper program. Businesses will again need to satisfy a turnover test to qualify and employees need to have been employed in the business prior to 1 March 2020. There will be a reduction in the JobKeeper Payment amount, which will now also be dependent on whether eligible employees are full-time or part-time/casual.

Turnover Test

To qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 for the December 2020 quarter, businesses will need to show a 30% decline in turnover from 2019 to 2020 for the June and September quarters. To qualify for the March 2021 quarter, businesses will need to show a 30% turnover decline for the June, September and December quarters.

As with the original JobKeeper program, different rules apply for businesses with a turnover exceeding $1b and not-for-profit entities.

Eligible Employees

The eligibility test for employees is the same as with the original JobKeeper program (e.g. employed as at 1 March 2020 on a full-time/part-time basis, or as a long term casual employee).

JobKeeper 2.0 Payment Rates

For the December 2020 quarter, the JobKeeper payment rates will be:

  • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and
  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

For the March 2021 quarter, the JobKeeper payment rates will be:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and
  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

Differences to JobKeeper 1.0

Unlike JobKeeper 1.0, once a business fails the turnover test for a quarter, they are no longer eligible for further payments under the program.

The rates of pay for JobKeeper 2.0 are also less than the original program, with lower payments again for casual and part-time staff.

We will keep you updated with further information on JobKeeper 2.0 as it becomes available.  In the meantime, if you have any questions in relation to JobKeeper, please contact Darren, Shaun or one of our team.