The JobKeeper Rules were amended last Friday (which the Treasurer has the power to do). These changes affect only the existing JobKeeper program, which runs until 27 September. The extension after that, with tightened eligibility, has not yet been legislated.
Employers participating in the existing JobKeeper program have a few mandatory things to do this week.
The changes apply only from the fortnight beginning 3 August, meaning they affect only the last four fortnights in the existing JobKeeper program (ie, fortnights ending 16 August, 30 August, 13 September and 27 September).
The key change is to move the date on which a person must have been your employee from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020. However, all current eligible employees based on the original 1 March date are preserved as eligible – no one will become ineligible. Accordingly, the changes can only have the effect of adding to your eligible employees.
Nothing has changed in terms of an employer qualifying for the existing JobKeeper program. It is still open to enrol in the current program based on predicting a decline in GST turnover for, say, the month of August, or the September quarter.
Additional eligible employees
The additions to your eligible employees will be drawn from two groups:
- Employees on 1 March 2020 who weren’t eligible, but now will be.
- People employed from 2 March to 1 July.
Examples of employees in the first group would include (provided all other criteria met):
- A casual employee who did not meet the 12-month requirement on 1 March, but did as of 1 July.
- An employee who was under 16 on 1 March, but turned 16 by 1 July, and is independent.
- An employee who was 17 and not independent on 1 March, but turned 18 by 1 July.
From the second group, you will need to review the employees to determine which ones satisfy all of the other existing criteria to be eligible (age/independence, residency status, etc) – these have not changed.
You will also need to check if anyone has previously nominated another employer in the JobKeeper program. They can re-nominate with you, provided they ceased employment with that other employer before 1 July. (The reason for ceasing employment does not matter.)
“One in, all in” rule
The “one in, all in” rule continues to apply. This means that you must identify all additional employees who would be an eligible employee if they nominated to enter the JobKeeper program under you. You must then undertake a similar process like you did at the beginning of existing program:
- You must notify each of those employees that you elected to participate in the JobKeeper program. You must include the employee nomination form with guidance for the employee to complete and return. The updated nomination form is available here. You must give this to those employees effectively by this Friday, 21 August. (Technically, you have until Monday 24th, but best not to leave it until then.)
For those employees who return the nomination form, you can include them in your monthly JobKeeper declaration for the month of August.
Minimum $1,500 – extra time
The minimum $1,500 (pre-tax) per fortnight must be paid to the new additions to your eligible employees. However, the first fortnight to which these changes apply has already ended (last Sunday). Accordingly, for only newly eligible employees under the 1 July date, and only for the fortnights ending 16 August and 30 August, you have until 31 August to pay the minimum $1,500 (pre-tax) to each of those employees. Accordingly, you will need to top up eligible employees for whom you did not meet the minimum inside those fortnights.
Talk to your trusted Nexia Advisor – today! – about any assistance we can provide in helping you identify your additional eligible employees.