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Latest updates - JobKeeper

  • Extension of the JobKeeper Payment - The Government is extending the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021. Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be significantly impacted by the coronavirus.  The payment rate will be reduced and a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours. Other eligibility rules remain unchanged. 
  • Changes for child care providers - The rule changes relating to JobKeeper payments for child care providers have now been confirmed. Eligibility for JobKeeper payments will stop from 20 July for employees of an approved provider of child care services where those employees whose ordinary duties are that they are engaged principally in the operation of the child care centre, and eligible business participants where the business entity is an approved provider of a child care service. Childcare providers need to ensure that they do not claim JobKeeper for employees and eligible business participants who are no longer eligible. You will not be reimbursed for payments made after JobKeeper Fortnight 8 (6 July to 19 July). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will provide more detail on the steps you need to take to stop receiving JobKeeper payments for your ineligible employees and business participants shortly.

What the JobKeeper payment is


The JobKeeper Payment is a scheme to support businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus to help keep more Australians in jobs. The JobKeeper Payment is administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will now continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021.

The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week.

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover).

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility with reference to their actual GST turnover in the June and September quarters 2020. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both of those quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of:

  • 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion
  • 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less

or

  • 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities)

If a business or not-for-profit does not meet the additional turnover tests for the extension period, this does not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020. The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period. Other eligibility rules for businesses and not-for-profits and their employees remain unchanged.

Check out the JobKeeper guide for employers reporting through Single Touch Payrol (STP).

Check out the JobKeeper guide for employers not reporting through Single Touch Payroll (STP).

The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to sole traders and other entities.

Payment rate


From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be: 

  • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020

and 

  • $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be: 

  • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, 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 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020

and 

  • $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants

Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees (or business participants). 

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests where an employee’s or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 reference period.  For example, this will include where the employee was on leave, volunteering during the bushfires, or not employed for all or part of February 2020.   

Guidance will be provided by the ATO where the employee was paid in non-weekly or non-fortnightly pay periods and in other circumstances the general rules do not cover.  

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to be made by the ATO to employers in arrears. Employers will continue to be required to make payments to employees equal to, or greater than, the amount of the JobKeeper Payment (before tax), based on the payment rate that applies to each employee. This is called the wage condition. 

Learn more about paying your eligible employees, tax conseqences, superannuation guarantee and what you can't do.

Eligible employers


Employers are eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply
  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced either a: 
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools)
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories

Turnover tests

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment after 27 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will have to meet a further decline in turnover test for each of the two periods of extension, as well as meeting the other existing eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper Payment.   

In order to be eligible for the first JobKeeper Payment extension period of 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in the both the June quarter 2020 (April, May and June) and the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019). 

In order to be eligible for the second JobKeeper Payment extension period of 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will again need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters relative to comparable periods (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019). 

Calculating turnover

Generally businesses will use the basic test to determine fall in turnover. This is based on GST turnover. This applies even if your business is not registered for GST.

In some cases, there are modifications to the turnover calculation. For example, if you're part of a GST group, calculate your turnover as if you weren't part of the group. 

Aggregated turnover

Your aggregated turnover is generally your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of any business:

  • connected with you
  • that is your affiliate

When working out your aggregated turnover, you should not include certain income (for example, transactions between you and those other businesses). These connected businesses may be based in Australia or overseas.

Learn more about eligible employers for the JobKeeper Payment.

Eligible employees


Your employee may be eligible if at 1 March 2020 they were:

  • full-time, part-time or fixed term
  • a long-term casual that you employed regularly for at least 12 months
  • 18 years older (if they were 16 or 17 they can also qualify for fortnights before 11 May 2020, and continue to qualify after that if they're independent or not studying full time)

There are other eligibility criteria that your employee must meet. Make sure to check them all.

If your employee agrees to be nominated by you for JobKeeper, they must complete the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to you for your records.

If you're an employee, learn more about the JobKeeper payment.

Check the full eligibility criteria for employees.

How to apply


You can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form.

After you enrol, you will need to identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO. 

Follow the steps on the ATO website to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment.

Read examples of how the JobKeeper Payment can help you.

Keeping the system fair


If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations in relation to the JobKeeper payment scheme, the Fair Work Commission has guidance on how it can assist with JobKeeper disputes.

If you're concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper payment, you can tell the ATO about it. To report illegal or behaviour of concern, see making a tip off.

Transition from JobKeeper to JobSeeker


Changes to the JobKeeper Payment may make recipients of that payment eligible for the JobSeeker Payment or other income support payments. The Government is making further changes to income support arrangements for JobKeeper Payment recipients who transition onto income support. 

Income support recipients earning above their income test cut-off point and on a nil rate of income support will be able to continue to keep their concession card and return seamlessly to income support if their earnings reduce below their cut-off point. 

Services Australia will allow recipients of the JobKeeper Payment to apply for income support ahead of the cessation of their JobKeeper Payment to ensure individuals can quickly access income support after their access to the JobKeeper Payment ends. 

Learn more about the JobSeeker Payment at Services Australia.