On 14 August 2020, the Treasurer released the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 7) 2020, amending the date of eligibility for JobKeeper from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. The amendment applies from 3 August 2020.
Under the original JobKeeper rules, an employee generally had to be employed by the entity as at 1 March 2020 and have met certain conditions at that date to qualify as an eligible employee (e.g., long-term casual employee requirements). For JobKeeper fortnights beginning on or after 3 August 2020, the amendments allow qualifying employers to receive JobKeeper payments for employees who meet the eligibility requirements on 1 July 2020.
Employees who met the conditions on 1 March 2020 will continue to be eligible assuming they are still employed by the entity.
In practical terms this means:
- If someone commenced employment with an entity after 1 March 2020 but by 1 July 2020 and they were an employee of the entity on that date then they can potentially be eligible for JobKeeper from 3 August 2020 onwards, assuming all other basic conditions are met.
- Casuals who hadn’t been employed for at least 12 months leading up to 1 March 2020 can potentially be eligible for JobKeeper if they have been employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months leading up to 1 July 2020 (assuming all other basic conditions are met).
- Individuals who failed the age-related conditions or residency conditions at 1 March 2020 can potentially be eligible employees if they met those conditions on 1 July 2020.
Employers need to ensure that they identify all additional employees who could be eligible for JobKeeper to ensure that they comply with the “one in, all in” principle and that they meet the nomination requirements.
The ATO subsequently announced that the deadline for making payments for new eligible employees for JobKeeper fortnights starting on 3 August 2020 and 17 August 2020 had been extended to 31 August 2020 (i.e., to meet the condition for employers to pay at least $1,500 to eligible employees in each JobKeeper fortnight).
The other key change to the Rules is that someone who was previously nominated for JobKeeper with an entity as an eligible employee or eligible business participant, can potentially be nominated for JobKeeper with a different entity if certain conditions are met. The individual must have ceased to be employed or actively engaged in the business (as a business participant) of the original entity after 1 March 2020 but before 1 July 2020. They must also meet the conditions to be treated as an eligible employee of the new employer on 1 July 2020.
These amendments focus on the eligibility rules for employees. No significant changes have been made in relation to the rules dealing with eligible business participants.
The Government has also announced that JobKeeper will be extended beyond 27 September 2020 You can read about the new rules dealing with the expansion of the scheme here. However, the ATO is yet to release information on the alternative tests that will be used for the decline in turnover test.
If you have any questions about the new Jobkeeper test dates for employees or about any other matter, please contact our experienced Melton Accountants on 03 9746 6479.