Just last week, the Government announced it will be extending it’s JobKeeper payment until 28 May 2021. For many small businesses this is welcome news, as there are sectors which continue to struggle as COVID restrictions are relaxed, then re-instated.
JobKeeper in its current form will continue until 27 September 2020. This initial version required most businesses to demonstrate at least a 30% reduction in turnover when compared to the same monthly or quarterly period last year and had permanent staff or long-term casuals on their books as at 1 March 2020.
JobKeeper 2.0 will commence from 28 September 2020 and all businesses will be required to re-assess their eligibility for the extension with reference to their actual turnover in the June and September quarters.
To be eligible, a business with an aggregated turnover of less than $1 billion, must be able to demonstrate they have experienced a decline of at least 30% for both quarters. Staff eligibility will remain the same, in that they must have been employed by the business as at 1 March 2020 and casual staff must be long term casuals of at least 12 months. Once eligibility has been determined, a business can receive the JobKeeper payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
To be eligible for continued payments after that date up until 28 March 2021, a business will need to demonstrate a continued decline in turnover for the June, September and December quarters.
Payment rates will also change over this time. Current, under JobKeeper 1, employers are reimbursed $1,500.00 per fortnight per employee irrespective of the number of hours that employee worked as long as they were paid at least that much.
From 28 September, the rates are directly related to the number of hours being worked by staff. If an employee worked a minimum of 20 hours per week (on average) in the four-week period prior to 1 March 2020, the Government will reimburse employers $1,200.00 per fortnight. For other eligible staff, the payment will be $750.00 per fortnight.
From 4 January 2021, the payment rates will be $1,000.00 per fortnight for the staff who worked at least 20 hours per week (on average) in the four-week period prior to 1 March 2020. Other eligible staff the payment will be $650.00 per fortnight.
Whilst the ATO have not announced when applications for additional JobKeeper payments must be completed by, it will be due before the Monthly or Quarterly BAS reporting deadlines. This means, businesses which may be eligible, will need to assess their eligibility prior to BAS lodgement.
As more information comes to light, I will let my clients and followers know via my social media channels. If you want to be one of the first to know, give me a like and follow on Facebook or LinkedIn.
This is a difficult time for many businesses around the Valley, so we should all do our part and support them as best we can.
Written for the Clarence Valley Independent by Cathryn Hopson of Hands On Bookkeepers – Providing clarity around your finances giving you peace of mind so that you can focus on growing your business