The Morrison Government’s Bill to amend the JobKeeper legislation has just passed through Parliament. It immediately follows the current JobKeeper legislation that finishes on 27 September 2020.

Business eligibility

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper Payment will be

required to re-assess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover in the September quarter of 2020. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in this quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

JobKeeper Payment rate

The JobKeeper Payment rate is to be reduced and paid at two rates:

  • From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rate will be $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weekly pay periods before the reference period, 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 more than 20 hours per week, and $750 per fortnight for employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the reference period.
  • From January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rate will be $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who in the four weekly pay periods before the reference period, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week, and $650 per fortnight for employees who were working for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business for less than 20 hours per week in the reference period.

JobKeeper Enabling Directions

For business that have experienced an increase in revenue and no longer qualify for JobKeeper you may qualify for the JobKeeper enabling provision.

To qualify:

  • Employers must be able to demonstrate a 10% decline or more in turnoverin relevant quarters in 2020 compared to last year to access the flexibility provisions.
  • 10% decline in turnover certificate issued by a financial services provider or self-certified where the employer is a small business with less than 15 employees must be held that confirms the employer satisfies the 10% decline in turnover test.
  • Employers cannot issue JobKeeper-enabling stand down directions to:
    • reduce an employee’s hours of work below 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours of work as at 1 March 2020; or
    • require an employee to work less than two hours in a day.
  • Employees must be given 7 days written notice of any reduction in hours, or a lesser notice period where genuinely agreed, compared to the three day period previously required. Employees are also able to appoint a representative, such as their union, during consultation about the direction and employers must keep a written record of the consultation.

Penalties for a False Declaration

Where an employer fails to meet the 10% decline in turnover test and contravenes the proposed legislation by proceeding to issue a JobKeeper-enabling direction, penalties of up to $13,200 for individuals and $66,600 for body corporates may be imposed. These penalties may also apply where employees are not notified that a JobKeeper-enabling direction or agreement is continuing or will end during a quarter.