For weeks we’ve been told the JobKeeper announcement would be on the 23rd and the PM and Treasurer decided to bring the news early and make the announcement yesterday. On the whole, it’s a good news story with the scheme being extended and I will outline the general details below. We must remember though, there is no legislation yet and if we’ve learned anything from the COVID stimulus announcements to date – the devil is in the detail. So while I am absolutely celebrating the important and wonderful assistance this announcement will bring for many of my clients, I am also conscious that we need to wait and see what the details are as none of this takes effect until very late in September.
- Most important, there is no change to the current JobKeeper and it will continue to run “as is” until September 27th.
- The “new” JobKeeper which has been called JobKeeper 2.0 will be run from 28/09 through until March 28th, 2021.
- The turnover tests will need to be re-applied for JobKeeper 2.0. The tests need to be re-applied twice during the 2.0 period. This is where I am expecting some of the nitty gritty detail to come into play and where there are already a wide range of questions being thrown around.
- New JobKeeper applications will be available – so if you become eligible during the period, you can still apply (this is the same as now.
How much will the new JobKeeper be?
From September 28th
- Currently $1,500 per fortnight for all employees and business participants, from September 28th there will be a 2 tiered payment system.
- If you work 20 hours or more then you will receive $1,200/fortnight.
- If you work 20 hours or less then you will receive $750/fortnight.
From January 4th, 2021
- This will reduce from the $1,200 or $750 per fortnight for all employees and business participants, from September 28th but the 2 tiered payment system continues.
- If you work 20 hours or more then you will receive $1,000/fortnight.
- If you work 20 hours or less then you will receive $650/fortnight.
How does the 20 hours test work?
- The 20 hours period is based on the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, so you look back to February 2020. You must have worked more than 20 hours a week.
- The 20 hours test will also apply for sole traders and eligible business participants and the 20 hours will apply to time spent “actively engaged in the business.”
JobKeeper 2.0 is due to CEASE on MARCH 28th, 2021.
I have a lot of questions and am keen to see the actual legislation and some further interpretation on this. The changes are expected to be legislated through ammendments to the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Rules 2020.
Here is the link to the Government info sheet about the JobKeeper changes. Again, we’ve learned over the COVID-19 period that this document changes regularly (even by the hour at times) so I recommend downloading this document if there is something on there that you specifically want to rely on.
I never profess to be an expert in matters concerning Department of Human Services or Centrelink or Services Australia (so many names for one organisation!) There was an announcement regarding JobSeeker though which is as follows:
- The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will be $250 a fortnight, currently $550 taking effect from the end of September.
- Those in receipt of JobSeeker will be able to earn $300 before any reduction in payment.
I understand that those receiving the full JobSeeker payment including supplement are receiving $1,100/fortnight and this will drop to $800.