JobKeeper 2.0 rules confirmed

The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 8) 2020 legislation was registered on Tuesday, 15 September, setting out the decline in turnover test for the extension of JobKeeper to 28 March 2021, and the new two-tiered payment rates. The ATO guidance will follow.

For the first extension period running from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the 28 day period before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020 will receive $1,200 per fortnight, while all other employees will receive $750.

For the second period running from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the rate will drop to $1,000 per fortnight and $650 per fortnight, respectively.

To qualify for the first extension period, entities will need to satisfy the new actual decline in turnover test for the quarter ending 30 September.

Depending on whether an entity was an ACNC-registered charity; a business with a turnover of $1 billion or less, or a business with a turnover of over $1 billion, they will be required to demonstrate a decline of either 15 per cent, 30 per cent, or 50 per cent, relative to its comparable quarter in 2019.

To qualify for the second extension period between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021, the turnover test will need to be applied for the quarter ending 31 December 2020.

The Commissioner of Taxation will be allowed to specify an alternative decline in turnover test, and an alternative reference period for working out if the higher or lower JobKeeper rate applies in respect of eligible employees, business participants and religious practitioners.

 More to come when ATO release their guidance.