The Federal Government recently announced the expansion for the eligibility of the current JobKeeper Scheme.
As part of the changes announced, the Federal Government introduced changes for employees eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme from 3 August 2020. On Friday 14 August, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 7) 2020 (the Rules) were registered which commence from 15 August 2020.
What are the changes?
For JobKeeper fortnights commencing on or after 3 August 2020, the Rules change the definition of ‘eligible employee’. The date you are required to test an employee’s eligibility is now 1 July 2020 (previously 1 March 2020).
The following employees are eligible for JobKeeper if they are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired) at any time in the JobKeeper fortnight if:
- The employee was employed by you at 1 July 2020;
- Full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 July 2020)
- The employee was at least 18 years of age at 1 July 2020 (note, employees who are 16 or 17 years of age may be eligible if they were independent or not studying full time on 1 July 2020
- The employee meets the residency requirements at 1 July 2020 as follows:
- Must be an Australian citizen / permanent resident and any other visa subclasses where they are considered resident under section 7 of the Social Security Act; or
- Be a holder of subclass 444 visa and be a resident of Australia for income tax purposes.
The employee is;
- Not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer
- Not in receipt of parental leave pay or dad or partner pay
- Not totally incapacitated and receiving worker’s compensation during the relevant period.
Some reasons why an employee may now be eligible for JobKeeper under this expansion include (but are not limited to) situations where:
- An employee has been hired between 2 March 2020 – 1 July 2020
- An employee who satisfied either the 1 March or 1 July 2020 requirement who has been made redundant/terminated and then re-hired
- An employee has turned 18 years of age between 2 March 2020 – 1 July 2020
- An employee has become a permanent visa holder or citizen between 2 March 2020 – 1 July 2020
- A casual employee has been employed on a regular or systematic basis for at least 12 months at 1 July 2020.
What you need to do next
You need to provide all your employees who are not currently nominated by you with a nomination form. These forms need to be provided to your employees by 22 August 2020.
We recommend notifying your employees that they should not complete these forms if:
- They have already completed the notice for another employer, or agreed to be a business participant for another entity receiving a JobKeeper payment, unless:
- They stopped being an employee of their previous employer or actively engaged in the business of the entity between 1 March and 1 July 2020
- At the time they agreed to be nominated by you, they have not been rehired by their previous employer or restarted being actively engaged as an eligible business participant
- They do not meet all other requirements to be an eligible employee for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 (including the 1 July requirements)
- They are receiving Government parental leave pay, Dad and partner pay, or a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.
You are not required to fulfill the nomination requirements again for those employees who have previously been nominated by you.
Minimum Wage Condition
You will be required to meet the minimum wage condition of $1,500 per fortnight (and paying any ‘top-ups’ if required) for JobKeeper fortnights commencing 3 August 2020 and 17 August 2020 by 31 August 2020.
Note, this extension is only available for “new” employees eligible due to the changes – for all other employees currently registered under the Scheme, please continue to make the payments by the end of the JobKeeper fortnight.
Which employees miss out?
You will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the following employees:
- Employees first employed after 1 July 2020
- Employees who left your employment before 1 July 2020 (except in limited circumstances)
- Have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer (except in limited circumstances)
- if you are an approved provider of child care services, have ordinary duties relating principally to the operation of those services for a JobKeeper fortnight that commences on or after 20 July 2020.
How much will you receive for eligible employees for the month of August 2020?
The following are the payments you will receive:
- For any “new” employees who are now eligible requirements for the JobKeeper payments, you will receive $3,000 for the month of August provided they are eligible for both fortnights (beginning 3 August 2020 and 17 August 2020).
- For employees already registered under the JobKeeper Scheme, you will receive $4,500 since there are three JobKeeper fortnights ending in August 2020.
The Rules for JobKeeper 2.0 will be dealt with in subsequent amendments.
If you require more information or have any queries in relation to this, please contact us here.