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JobKeeper extension - employee eligibility & current fortnight

Initiate

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My business has a casual employee who commenced at 4 May 2019. She previously wasn't eligible for JobKeeper but we have kept her on when we could afford it because she is a great worker. We can't keep that up much longer unless she also goes onto JobKeeper.

It appears that she will now be eligible from the fortnight commencing August 3 under the JobKeeper extension because of the 1 March to 1 July eligibility date change.

But is this official? What should we do for the current fortnight which ends in a few days' time?

Should we pay her the $1,500 JobKeeper rate on the assumption that the government and ATO will get their act together? Should we only pay her for the hours she actually worked and forget about JobKeeper for this fortnight (which is not what the government announced)? Or will we be allowed to backpay her and claim JobKeeper for this fortnight later when this legislative mess has been cleaned up?

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Former Community Support

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Hi @DavidGYoung understand your concern and thank you @KatieAcacia for providing that information. 

 

We can now confirm that the key date for assessing employee eligibility has changed from 1 March to 1 July 2020. This change applies from fortnight 10, which started on 3 August. For the fortnights commencing on 3 August and 17 August 2020 (fortnights 10 and 11), you will have until 31 August 2020 to pay new eligible employees $1,500 per fortnight.

 

You can read more about this change at Eligible employees.

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Devotee

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Sounds like the 1 July rule is now in force. To add an employee to your JK, you have to phone the ATO. There is no way to do it online

 

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper/extension

Treasurey website says 

Employee eligibility

The reference date for assessing which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment is now 1 July 2020 with effect from 3 August 2020. The reference period for employees regarding their hours worked to determine their tier of payment will be the two fortnightly pay periods prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020. The period with the higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.

Initiate

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Hi Katie,

 

Thank you for your reply but I am more than a bit wary because of this reply from earlier this week from the ATO:

https://community.ato.gov.au/t5/COVID-19-response/Jobkeeper-Extension-Employee-Eligibility/m-p/10029...

Basically it says that the ATO's official position (as of earlier this week) is that there has been no change in eligibility regardless of what the government has announced.

 

Given the pay date pressure my business and thousands of others are now facing, I am really hoping we can get some certainty and a clear direction from the ATO in the next 24 hours. The situation is a complete mess at the moment.

Most helpful response

Former Community Support

Replies 0

Hi @DavidGYoung understand your concern and thank you @KatieAcacia for providing that information. 

 

We can now confirm that the key date for assessing employee eligibility has changed from 1 March to 1 July 2020. This change applies from fortnight 10, which started on 3 August. For the fortnights commencing on 3 August and 17 August 2020 (fortnights 10 and 11), you will have until 31 August 2020 to pay new eligible employees $1,500 per fortnight.

 

You can read more about this change at Eligible employees.