JobKeeper Payment

JobKeeper Update - Preparing for the end of JobKeeper

Download the entire Preparing for the end of Jobkeeper Fact Sheet here

Download letter A - Notice that JobKeeper payments will cease here 

Download letter B - Notice that JobKeeper enabling direction will cease here 

Key dates and actions for employers

The Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme is coming to an end on 28 March 2021, meaning businesses will no longer be entitled to receive JobKeeper payments for their eligible employees or utilise the temporary Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions which gave employers certain flexibilities. It is a critical period for employers and now is the time to be preparing for this change.

This JobKeeper Update provides information on key actions to take to prepare for the end of the JobKeeper payments and Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions, as well as other areas for consideration with respect to employment requirements post-JobKeeper. Template letters have also been drafted for use by individual employers, and can be tailored to suit the employer’s specific circumstances prior to use.

 

Preparing for the end of JobKeeper payments: 

➢ Communicate with employees prior to the end of JobKeeper: As the JobKeeper payment program ends on 28 March, employees’ wages will revert back to their pre-JobKeeper levels. It is recommended that you notify your employees of this, particularly where the amount received under JobKeeper may differ from the employee’s regular pay rate. See Template Letter A.

➢ Submit your March monthly business declaration to the ATO: You do not have to take any specific action with the ATO when the program ends, however you will need to complete your final monthly business declaration for March by 14 April 2021.
➢ Consider other options for Government assistance: Although the JobKeeper scheme will not be extended there may be additional assistance available to employers such as grants, hiring incentives and targeted support for particular sectors. Visit business.gov.au.

 

Preparing for the end of JobKeeper enabling directions:

➢ Notify employees that the JobKeeper enabling direction will cease: Any JobKeeper enabling direction, whether issued by an employer currently on JobKeeper or a Legacy Employer, will cease to have effect from the start of 29 March 2021. This means that employees will revert to their substantive terms and conditions of employment. While the direction will automatically cease to apply, employers should communicate with their employees about the change. See Template Letter B.


➢ Consider employment requirements post-JobKeeper: If your business is still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic you should consider your employment requirements post-JobKeeper. This includes whether employees can be stood down, whether other flexibilities may be permitted under an industrial instrument or by agreement, or whether any positions may be redundant. Given the complex nature of the considerations and related employment obligations, we recommend contacting CCIQ’s HR/IR team on 1300 731 988 for specific advice tailored to your business’s needs.

 

The content of this information sheet has been prepared based on material available to date (12 March 2021). The material is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or situation. In any important matter, you should seek appropriate independent professional advice in relation to your own circumstances. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and CCIQ accepts no responsibility or liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the reliance on information contained in this JobKeeper Update.  

 

Download the entire Preparing for the end of Jobkeeper Fact Sheet here

Download letter A - Notice that JobKeeper payments will cease here 

Download letter B - Notice that JobKeeper enabling direction will cease here 

 PREVIOUS INFORMATION 

Quick nav: 

On 7 August (2020), the Government provided a further announcement concerning the extension of the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021. Amendments to the stimulus payment follows successful advocacy by chambers across Australia to deliver targeted support to businesses and not-for-profits which continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

Still being delivered by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the extension of the JobKeeper Payment will involve a tapering of fortnightly payment to Australian businesses for eligible employees:

JobKeeper 1.0 - March - 27 September 2020:

$1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees

JobKeeper 2.0 - 28 September - 3 January 2021:

(High) $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees working 20+ hours

(Low) $750 per fortnight for eligible employees

JobKeeper 2.1 – 4 January 28 March 2021:

(High) $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employees working 20+ hours

(Low) $650 per fortnight for eligible employees

 

Is my business eligible to receive the Job Keeper Payment? 

Reassessing Eligibility:

JobKeeper 2.0 (Sep’20-Jan’21)

From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper Payment will be required to reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover in the September quarter 2020. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in this quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

JobKeeper 2.1 (Jan’21-Mar’21)

Businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their eligibility in January 2021 for the period from 4 January to 28 March 2021. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in the December quarter 2020 to remain eligible for the March quarter 2021.

 

Turnover Eligibility: 

The eligibility test for turnover decline will remain unchanged. Turnover is still calculated as it is for GST purposes, and is reported on your Business Activity Statement. It includes all taxable supplies and all GST free supplies.

Less than $1 billion

For businesses with turnovers less than $1 billion, who have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover year on year over a comparable period of at least one month will be eligible. 

Greater than $1 billion

Businesses that turnover more than $1 billion must prove that turnover has reduced by more than 50% year on year over a comparable period of at least one month. 

Charities and Not for Profits

Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities must prove that turnover has reduced by more than 15% year on year over a comparable period of at least one most.

Not subject to the major bank levy: 

Eligible businesses must not be subject to the major bank levy which applies to banks with over $100 billion in total liabilities. 

 

High and Low Payment Bounds: 

High Bound

JobKeeper 1.0 = $1,500 per fortnight

JobKeeper 2.0 = $1,200 per fortnight

JobKeeper 2.1 = $1,000 per fortnight

The higher bound of the JobKeeper payments will apply to employees that prior to COVID-19 were working on average 20+ hours per week for the 4 weeks to 1 March 2020.

Low Bound

JobKeeper 1.0 = $1,500 per fortnight

JobKeeper 2.0 = $750 per fortnight

JobKeeper 2.1 = $650 per fortnight

The lower bound for the JobKeeper payment will apply to all other eligible employees and business partners (working, on average, >20 hours per week for the 4 weeks to 1 March 2020)

 

Employer-employee relationship: 

For some businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic has already forced them to stand down employees by significantly reducing their working hours. 

In such cases, for the employee to be eligible, they must have been engaged in employment as at 1 March 2020. The business must also confirm that each eligible employee is still contractually employed to receive the Job Keeper Payment. 

 

Not subject to the major bank levy: 

Eligible businesses must not be subject to the major bank levy which applies to banks with over $100 billion in total liabilities. 

 

What defines an eligible employee? 

Eligible employees have been defined as those who: 

  • Are currently employed by an eligible business (defined above). This includes employees that may have been stood down or re-hired (i.e. actively engaged under a working contract with the business); 
  • Were employed by the employer as at 1 March 2020; 
  • Are employed on a full-time, part-time or long-term casual basis (a casual employee that has been employed regularly for longer than 12 months); 
  • Are at least 16 years of age;  
  • Are an Australian citizen, holders of a permanent or special visa (see the full list here); and 
  • Are not in receipt of a Job Keeper Payment from another employer. 

 

I am a self-employed business owner, am I eligible for the Job Keeper Payment? 

Businesses without employees can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment from 30 March 2020. 

In such circumstances, self-employed business owners will need to nominate an individual (provide TFN) to receive the payment. 

 

I am a casual employee that doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria, what support is available to me? 

Casual employees that do not meet eligibility criteria are urged to contact Centrelink to discuss welfare options. 

Importantly, for individuals that find themselves cyclically unemployed, the JobSeeker Payment has been nearly doubled to support casual employees during this time of turbidity. 

 

Important information: 

For a full summary of the JobKeeper Payment, visit the Treasury website here.

For general queries regarding the JobKeeper Payment: 

For information on memberships with CCIQ with HR/IR Helpline Support: 

Looking for more?

We have compiled an FAQ based upon feedback from our members over the past few days, find the answers you're looking for below:

Go to JobKeeper FAQs