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Looking for information on the JobKeeper extension? Check out our answers to common questions the community has been asking.

COVID-19 support – JobKeeper payment

Started ‎3 April 2020 by
Modified Thursday by

The JobKeeper Payment scheme was introduced to help provide a wage subsidy to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.

Our JobKeeper guides provide step-by-step information on how to enrol and meet your monthly reporting obligations.

What’s new

  • The JobKeeper Payment has been extended to 28 March 2021.
  • There are two separate extension periods. The extension periods are:
  • Businesses will need to reassess their eligibility for each extension period.
  • Eligible employees will be paid different amounts depending on whether they meet the 80-hour threshold.
  • Employee eligibility can now be assessed as of 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
  • From 28 September 2020, you’ll need to work out the JobKeeper payment rates for employees, based on the total hours worked during their reference period.
  • From 1 October 2020, you can report your decline in turnover through our ATO online services, the Business Portal or your registered tax or BAS agent.

What stays the same

  • You don't need to re-enrol for the JobKeeper extension if you are already enrolled for JobKeeper for fortnights before 28 September.
  • There will be no changes to the shortfall percentage rates.
  • You don’t need to reassess employee eligibility or ask employees to agree to be nominated by you as their eligible employer if you are already claiming for them before 28 September.
  • You don't need to meet any further requirements if you are claiming for an eligible business participant, other than those that applied from the start of JobKeeper relating to:
    • holding an ABN, and
    • declaring assessable income and supplies.

If you have questions about workplace entitlements and obligations, or if you’re concerned that someone is doing the wrong thing in relation to JobKeeper, visit Keeping JobKeeper payment fair.


Businesses and employers

When do I need to pay employees for fortnight 13?

You will need to pay your employees for fortnight 13 by 27 September 2020.

How do I calculate GST turnover?

Your GST turnover is your total business income, not just your profit. When you’re calculating GST turnover, don’t include any:

  • GST amounts
  • Input taxed sales
  • Sales not connected to your business (private sales)
  • Sales not made for payment
  • Payments for no supply
  • Gifts and donations (aside from those mentioned above)
  • Sales not connected with Australia

How do I assess if my business is eligible for the JobKeeper extension?

To be eligible for the first extension period (28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021), you’ll need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has declined in the September 2020 quarter (July – September 2020) relative to a comparable period (generally July – September 2019).

To be eligible for the second extension period (4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021), you’ll need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has declined in the December 2020 quarter (October – December 2020) relative to a comparable period (generally October – December 2019).

What if I don’t meet the turnover test for the first extension period but I will for the second?

That’s fine. If you meet the turnover test for the first extension period you may be eligible to receive JobKeeper payments for the second one from 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021. 

Alternative tests for determining turnover and payment rates may be available in some circumstances.

How do I assess if my employees and/or business participant are eligible for the JobKeeper extension?

If you’re already claiming JobKeeper for your employees and/or business participant before 28 September, you don’t need to reassess their eligibility.

See Your eligible employees if you’re new to JobKeeper and you want to work out which employees you can claim for.

When and how much do I pay my eligible employees and/or business participant for the JobKeeper extension?

That will depend on which JobKeeper extension period you are paying your eligible employees and/or business participant for and which payment rate tier they fall into.

Here is a summary of how the payments will work from 28 September 2020.

Extension period

How much do I need to pay my tier 1 employees?

How much do I need to pay my tier 2 employees?

Extension 1

28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021

$1,200
$750

Extension 2

4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021

$1,000
$650

 

You'll need to withhold tax along with any other payments each fortnight and continue paying super for the hours that your employees work.

See How much to pay if your eligible employee normally earns less or more than the applicable minimum amount a fortnight.

How do I work out what payment tier an employee or business participant falls into?

It will depend on whether they meet the 80-hour threshold. Your employee will satisfy the 80-hour threshold if, in their 28-day reference period, the total of the following is 80 hours or more:

  • actual hours they worked
  • hours they were on paid leave
  • hours they were paid for absence on a public holiday.

If your eligible employee satisfies the 80-hour threshold, you can claim the tier 1 payment rate for them. If they do not meet the 80-hour threshold, you can claim the  tier 2 payment for them.

 

Tier 1

Tier 2

  • eligible employees who meet the 80-hour threshold in the reference period for either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and
  • eligible business participants who meet the 80-hour threshold for February and provide a declaration to that effect
  • any other eligible employees and eligible business participants.

What if I make an employee redundant or they resign?

If you made your employee redundant after the appropriate eligibility date, you can choose to re-engage them and claim JobKeeper on their behalf if you both meet the eligibility criteria. You can only pay them JobKeeper from the fortnight they were re-engaged.

If your employee resigns within a JobKeeper fortnight, you will need to pay them for that fortnight and notify us through your monthly declaration.

Do I include JobKeeper payments on my activity statement?

No. However, if you’re registered for PAYG Withholding then you would still report total salary/wages and withheld amounts as usual on your activity statement.

Sole traders, partners, trust beneficiaries, shareholders and directors

What if I have another job?

If you are an eligible business participant, you can’t be an employee (other than a casual employee) of another entity.

If you’re an eligible sole trader and also a long-term casual employee of another business, you can choose to either let your employer claim the JobKeeper payments on your behalf, or you can claim as a sole trader, but not both.

See this thread if you got another job after 1 March 2020: JobKeeper and a New Job 

See this thread if you’re a sole trader with permanent employment elsewhere but you still want to nominate your eligible employees: JobKeeper for employee of sole trader but not sole trader

Do I need to be registered for GST to meet the turnover tests?

No. However, you need to have had an ABN on 12 March 2020 and an amount of assessable income related to your business in your 2018–19 income tax return.

Employees and individuals

What if I’m on paid or un-paid leave (including maternity leave), am I still eligible for the payment?

Yes, unless you are in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:

  • government parental leave or Dad and partner pay
  • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.

The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy for your employer so if your employer is paying you an annual leave payment, the $1,500 (or from 28 September 2020, the applicable tier 1 or tier 2 amount) will subsidise part or all of this amount – it’s not an additional amount.

If you’re concerned about your leave balance and JobKeeper, see FairWork's website.

If I have multiple jobs, which employer am I eligible through?

You can only receive the payment from one employer at a time. Here are some different scenarios:

  1. Long-term casual and permanent job: In this situation, you can’t be nominated by your casual employer, you must choose your permanent employer. If your permanent employer isn’t eligible to claim the payment, you won’t be eligible either.
  2. Fixed-term contract and long-term casual: if you're a fixed term contractor at the appropriate eligibility date, and also a long-term casual, you can only choose to nominate through your fixed-term contract employer, not your casual employer. If the fixed-term contract is renewed before 28 March 2021, you will continue to be eligible for JobKeeper Payment under that employer. If your fixed-term contract isn’t renewed before 28 March 2021, you will likely cease being eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.
  3. Two long-term casual jobs or two permanent jobs: If you receive nominations from both employers, you can choose the one you want to get the payment from.
  4. Long-term casual who gets an additional permanent part-time job after the eligibility cut off date: If you were a long-term casual on the appropriate eligibility date and you later get an additional permanent job, you can still claim JobKeeper through your casual employer. You’re allowed to earn additional income while you are on JobKeeper as long as you maintain your employment relationship with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.
  5. My employment with my JobKeeper nominated employer ended before 1 July 2020: You can now be nominated by an alternative employer however you can still only be nominated by one employer at any given time.

If I start a new job, will I stop receiving JobKeeper?

Not necessarily. You can earn additional income without your JobKeeper payments being affected as long as you maintain your employment (including being stood down) with your JobKeeper-eligible employer.

How do I know if my employer is receiving JobKeeper?

Talk to your employer. If your employer chooses to participate in the JobKeeper scheme (they don’t have to), it’s their responsibility to notify each eligible employee that they intend to nominate.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and agree to be nominated, you need to complete a JobKeeper employee nomination notice and return it to your employer.

Once you have done this, generally you cannot change the employer who is claiming JobKeeper payments for you unless you are nominated by a new employer for JobKeeper fortnight 10 onwards (from 3 August 2020) and you meet certain requirements.

You can also refuse to participate if you choose.

See your options if you are nominated by your employer for further guidance.

Check out our employees page for more information.

Can I still access my super early while receiving JobKeeper?

Yes.

To check if you’re eligible, see early release of your super due to COVID-19.

Can't find the answer to your question here?

You can ask the Community or read more information at ato.gov.au/jobkeeper

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