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Latest update

7 August 2020

The JobKeeper Payment, which was originally due to run until 27 September 2020, will continue to be available to eligible businesses (including the self-employed) and not-for-profits until 28 March 2021. In addition, from 3 August 2020 the relevant date of employment will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme and the extension.

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.

Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships, trusts or companies) may be entitled to the JobKeeper Payment scheme under the business participation entitlement

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. 

Check out the JobKeeper guide - sole traders.

Stay up-to-date on the JobKeeper key dates.

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 were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; 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 were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average; 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 or business participant’s hours were not usual during the February and/or June 2020 reference period (the period with the higher number of hours worked is to be used for employees with 1 March 2020 eligibility).

For example, this will include where the employee was on leave, volunteering during the bushfires, or not employed for all or part of February or June 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. 

Eligibility


Self-employed individuals are eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if they are not a permanent employee of another employer if, at the time of applying:
  • their business has an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less (for income tax purposes) and they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more; or
  • their business has an annual turnover of more than $1 billion (for income tax purposes) and they estimate their turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 50 per cent or more; and
  • their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy

You can work out your eligibility on the ATO website.

Turnover tests

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment from 28 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 fallen in the September quarter 2020 (July, August, September) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter 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 need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen in the December quarter 2020 October, November, December) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarters in 2019).

The Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019, in line with the Commissioner’s existing discretion.

You can find information about the existing discretion on the ATO website. 

How to apply


When you have worked out that your business is an eligible entity and your individual non-employee is an eligible business participant, you can enrol on the ATO website. 

Find out how to enrol if you're a sole trader.

Find out how to enrol if you're a partnership, company or trust.

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.