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JobKeeper – Further changes to business turnover and employee eligibility

On 7 August 2020, the Australian Government announced further amendments to the JobKeeper Payment scheme, aiming to help more businesses qualify for assistance following the introduction of increased restrictions in Victoria.  These changes to JobKeeper will apply nation-wide, meaning all of Australia will benefit from eased eligibility requirements.

Key changes to JobKeeper

The key changes to the JobKeeper scheme relate to business turnover and eligible employee requirements.  There has been no change to the planned reduction of JobKeeper payment amounts previously announced by the Government in July. 

New eligibility requirements for workers

The new requirements mean that some employees who were not eligible for JobKeeper on 1 March will now qualify if they were employed on 1 July 2020, subject to meeting other eligibility criteria.  This includes casual workers who have achieved 12 months service by 1 July 2020, staff who have turned 18 by 1 July 2020, and permanent staff employed between 2 March and 1 July 2020.   Newly eligible employees will also qualify for JobKeeper payments for the remainder of the existing JobKeeper arrangement, which is in place until 27 September 2020. 

Criteria easing for businesses

Changes to the decline in turnover requirements have been designed to provide support for businesses that may have seen some revenue recovery in the June quarter before the last restrictions were imposed, and therefore, may have missed out on the next phase of the JobKeeper payment scheme.

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations who wish to apply for the extension will need to reassess their eligibility by GST turnover for the September 2020 quarter (for JobKeeper payments beginning 28 September 2020) and again for the December 2020 quarter (for JobKeeper payments beginning 4 January 2021).

This is in contrast to the requirements announced in the original JobKeeper payment extension plan, in which businesses would be required to demonstrate a significant fall in GST turnover in both the June and September quarters to qualify for JobKeeper payments in the December quarter. The new proposal will see businesses only requiring a significant fall in each respective quarter compared with the same period last year. 

Assessing decline in turnover based on activity statements

Businesses will generally be able to assess eligibility based on details reported in their Business Activity Statement (BAS).

The deadline to lodge the September BAS is in late October, and the December BAS is due in late January (monthly) or late February (quarterly). Therefore businesses will need to assess their JobKeeper eligibility in advance of the BAS deadline in order to meet the wage condition.

Important note

The Government is actively working to support Australians through the coronavirus crisis.  Subscribe to our newsletter to keep informed of further announcements regarding JobKeeper or the introduction of additional stimulus measures designed to boost economic activity into the future.

We are here to help

At Apiary Financial, our team will work with you to help you manage your JobKeeper compliance. If you need assistance with registration, determining your employees’ eligibility or calculating your turnover movement, contact our office today on 07 3217 2477.