Jobkeeper 1.0 changes into 2.0

Written by: Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

It is now Law.

JobKeeper 2.0

Less employers, less employees, lower rates and two different tiers.

And Fair Work JobKeeper discretions continue (for some).

Which Employers?

If the business currently receiving JK experiences an ongoing decline in actual GST Turnover of 30% (50% large, 15% NFP).


A business is allowed to enter JK if they meet all eligibility requirements including decline in turnover.

Noting it continues to include Eligible Business Participants (EBPs) specifically including the self-employed.

“Ongoing actual decline in turnover”

An assessment of the decline in actual GST Turnover results for the quarter ended 30th September 2020 will mean an employer is eligible for JK for October to December, and a decline in turnover for the quarter ended 31st December 2020 will mean eligibility for JK for January to March 2021.

“Actual GST Turnover” is the GST exclusive taxable value of supplies made during the period (GST & FRE but not Input Taxed). We do not yet have confirmation of cash vs accrual or whether it is the same method as you report JK now. Note: JK 2.0 does not require you to be GST registered and JK does not require you to lodge BAS or lodge BAS quarterly. Currently the sale of assets is included in the GST turnover calculation.

Alternative tests may be allowed by the ATO. Refer to the existing alternate tests.

Timing issue: Employers may have to pay staff immediately after 28th September before being able to assess the decline in actual turnover for the quarter ended 30th September.

Impact: Employers who did not decline 30% in their ACTUAL GST turnover for the September quarter will cease JK as from 28th September.

It is a QUARTERLY test of actual turnover this year compared to same quarter last year.

How Much JobKeeper?

Employees who work 20 hours or more per week. In the four weeks of pay periods before 1st March 2020 (the time period is still in discussion).

Employees working for 20 hours or more per week on average and EBPs actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average during February:

  • $1500 per fortnight continues until the fortnight ended 27th September, then
  • $1200 per fortnight until 3rd January 2021 if eligible, then
  • $1000 per fortnight until 28th March 2021 if eligible, then
  • Unknown – currently it would stop

Impact: EBPs who were not actively engaged for 20 hours will drop to the lower rate.

Employees who work less than 20 hours per week in the 4 weeks before 1st March 2020:

  • $1500 per fortnight continues until the Fortnight ended 27th September, then
  • $750 per fortnight until 3rd January 2021 if eligible, then
  • $650 per fortnight until 28th March 2021 if eligible, then
  • Unknown – currently it would stop

Employers will nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each employee or EBP.

There will be “alternate tests” to assess hours where hours worked in February 2020 were not “usual”.

Actual GST Turnover
  • For the quarter.
  • The June quarter is now irrelevant – i.e. it is not taken into account.
  • To be eligible for JK October to December, must have had decline in the September quarter.
  • To be eligible for JK in January to March 2021, must have had decline in the Oct to December quarter.
Fair Work JobKeeper Directions

The proposed law is before Parliament as of 31st August 2020 – it is not final yet!

Then the rules will need to be issued by the Treasurer, and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) will need to issue their guidance

The proposal is: To extend the Fair Work JobKeeper Directions until 28th March 2021

  • If an employer is still on JK (called a Qualifying employer).
  • If an employer has more than a 10% decline (but less than the 30%) in turnover (called a Legacy employer). Legacy employers must calculate and then have a “Certificate” that attests to their decline in turnover.
  • Small employers (less than 15 employees (headcount)) can sign their own statutory declaration.
  • Other employers must have an Advisor sign the certificate (includes BAS Agents).
  • Qualifying employers have access to the full range of Fair Work JK Directions.

Legacy employers have modified provisions, including:

  • A direction to work reduced hours must not be less than 2 consecutive hours in a day.
  • Other conditions on the amount of hours (wait for the detail).
  • 7 day’s notice of a JK direction (was 3 days).

However, note: The existing provisions allowing direction to take Annual Leave or to take Annual leave at half pay do not continue after 28th September 2020 in any case.

Bookkeepers Action Items
  1. Add any new employees who became eligible since 1st March 2020 by using a STP JK Start Code and pay them for FN 10 & 11 (before 31st August).
  2. August monthly JK declaration to be lodged before 14th September 2020.
  3. Any outstanding 2019 BAS should be lodged.

When final details are known:

  1. Assess Actual GST turnover for September.
  2. Assess which employees worked less than 20 Hours.
  3. We expect there will be a new special STP JobKeeper code to indicate which employees are the lower tier.

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