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JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Extended – Reduced Rates and Updated Eligibility Criteria

The Australian Government will reduce the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of September 2020 to $1,200 a fortnight for full-time workers and to $750 for part-time workers, down from the current rate of $1,500.

The subsidy is being extended until March 28 next year, but will be revised down further at the start of January to $1,000 for full-time workers and $650 for part-time employees working 20 hours a week or less.

Under the changes, employers seeking to remain on JobKeeper beyond September will also face a fresh eligibility test.

Businesses will still be required to demonstrate the required reduction in turnover:

  • 30 percent for businesses with turnover of $1 Billion or less
  • 50 percent for those with turnover of more than $1 Billion
  • 15 percent for ACNC-registered charities.

However, the government will now require businesses to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover. From 28 September 2020, businesses will have to show an actual decline in turnover for the June and September quarters to qualify for JobKeeper.

From 4 January 2021, businesses will need to reassess their turnover to demonstrate that they have met the decline in turnover test for each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters.

The latest data from the Australian Tax Office shows that more than 960,000 entities have enrolled for JobKeeper, covering 3.5Million workers. As of 15 July, $29.8 Billion worth of payments have been made, out of the $70 Billion estimate.

The government anticipates the new eligibility rules will reduce that to just 1.4 Million workers for the December 2020 quarter, before dropping to 1 Million workers in the March 2021 quarter.

The government will also reduce the JobSeeker unemployment supplement at the end of September to about $800 a fortnight until the end of the year.

The rate of JobSeeker before COVID-19 was about $560 a fortnight. This was increased to $1,100 with a $550 supplement payment which was legislated to end in September, along with JobKeeper.

If you have any questions about these proposals will impact you or your business, please reach out to us on 1300 360 186 or send an email to [email protected]