In March this year, the Australian government introduced the JobKeeper wage subsidy program in response to businesses who had suffered significant financial loss as a result of the pandemic. Despite being extended to March 2021, major changes have been made this week to the rate and eligibility requirements of the JobKeeper payment.
What Changes Have Been Made To JobKeeper For Employees?
Employees will be impacted by changing rates, based on average hours worked. According to the ABC, those working the equivalent of 20 hours a week or more during reference periods of February or June will be entitled to the full-time JobKeeper rate which has been reduced to $1,200 per fortnight.
If you worked less than 20 hours a week during these reference periods, you’ll be entitled to a new part-time rate of $750 a fortnight. This is half of the flat $1,500 rate all eligible employees had been receiving until now.
The ABC also reports that while the JobKeeper rate will remain at this new rate from today, it will drop again from January 4th. In the new year, the full-time JobKeeper rate will fall to $1,000 per fortnight, while the part-time rate will drop to $650 a fortnight.
What About Employers?
— ato.gov.au (@ato_gov_au) September 25, 2020
From September 28, employers who want to continue receiving JobKeeper payments need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen in the last three months, compared to the same period last year.
Businesses reporting an annual turnover of over $1 billion must demonstrate a 50% drop. Non-profits – excluding schools and universities – must have experienced a 15% drop.
Employees will not have to re-enrol to claim payments but will have to check their continuing eligibility and tell the ATO what payment tier they are claiming for each eligible employee or business participant.