On 22 July the ASU provided a bulletin to members regarding changes to JobKeeper in terms of new payment rules for workers and eligibility rules for both workers and employers.
On Friday 7th August 2020 the Government updated these new changes to ensure more Australians can stay in jobs and more businesses can survive the economic fallout of this pandemic. The new changes are detailed below.
The ASU along with the Australian union movement welcomes these changes but until the scheme fully covers all casual workers, all visa workers and aviation workers who have been excluded due to sovereign entity ineligibility, JobKeeper is still failing to support millions of workers. The ASU will continue to campaign until all workers receive the financial assistance they require.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
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.
JobKeeper Payment rate
After 27 September 2020 the JobKeeper payment will move to a two-tiered system. This two-tiered system depends on the number of hours worked by an eligible employee in the pre-COVID-19 environment. The payment rates also differ between the extension periods, as outlined below:
Businesses and not-for-profits will be required to nominate which payment rate they are claiming for each of their eligible employees. The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged.
The JobKeeper Payment will continue to be made by the ATO to employers in arrears. Employers will still be required to pay eligible employees equal to, or greater than, the relevant amount of the JobKeeper payment (before tax).
For more information on eligibility requirements and changes your employer can legally make when accessing JobKeeper please refer to our previous JobKeeper bulletin.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim JobKeeper Payment will be required to re-assess their eligibility for the JobKeeper extension with reference to their actual turnover in the September quarter 2020. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in this quarter to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their eligibility in January 2021 for the period from 4 January to 28 March 2021. Businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in the December quarter 2020 to remain eligible for the March quarter 2021.
Other eligibility rules for businesses and not-for-profits and their employees remain unchanged.
Disclaimer: This is general guidance only and was correct at the time of writing at 10 August 2020.
The ASU will continue to be by your side through this challenging time.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact your union branch for more information.