The JobKeeper extension passed in parliament last week. There are still some details to come, however we now know the main workings. These can be accessed via treasury on this link and I have summarised them below.
The good news is that the payments for JobKeeper will remain as they are for the month of September. These will be received in October, after you verify your employees and submit your turnover in the normal way.
Then it all changes!
I have outlined below the 3 major changes that employers or sole traders must be aware of.
All businesses need to re-qualify for JobKeeper. So whether or not your business was eligible before is irrelevant. All businesses need to pass the new test to qualify. To qualify, your turnover in the Sept 2020 quarter (ie Jul + Aug + Sept) must be 30% less than the turnover in the Sept 2019 quarter. You need to calculate this in the first week of October to meet the reporting deadlines, therefore it is really important that your books are up to date to enable you to do this in a timely fashion.
There will be some businesses who fail this test and, if this is the case, that is the end of their jobkeeper payments. It seems only fair that if you think your business will no longer be eligible for Jobkeeper, you let your staff know as soon as possible. Your staff don’t necessarily know what your turnover is doing and may be assuming their payments continue.
The second change is that payment amount is going to be different for employees that are full time and those that are part time. To determine those that are part time, you need to look at average hours worked in the 4 weeks before 1 July 2020 and 1 March 2020 (if applicable). You use the higher result. If the average hours are less than 20, the jobkeeper amount will be $750 pfn, if more than 20 hours then the rate is $1,200 pfn.
If you are an eligible business participant, (ie sole trader, or partner) then you measure your hours worked in Feb 2020. You need to be able to prove in some way the number of hours worked.
The relevant date to determine which employees are eligible is now 1 July 2020 not March.
I am sure there will be many unanswered questions, but hopefully this will be enough information for most of you to continue the claiming process. As ever if you need assistance please get in touch.
Lindsay 0413 952 180