JobKeeper Extension: What you need to know

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*Updated 7 August 2020

The Government announced today that it is extending the JobKeeper payment until 28 March 2021. This is very welcome news! The good news is that sole traders are still included.

The JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will also be extended until 31 December 2020.

But … there’ll be some new rules. The extension is targeting support to businesses who continue to be significantly impacted by coronavirus. The payment amounts will be stepped-down and there will be different amounts for full-time and part-time/casual employees.

If you currently receive the JobKeeper, you will continue to receive $1,500 a fortnight until 27 September 2020. To receive JobKeeper after that date, you will need to reassess your eligibility and show a continued 30% decrease in income.

I’ve segregated what you need to know into various categories, to make it easier for you to make sense of the new information. This post has been updated for the changes announced on 7 August 2020.

  • Contractor / Sole trader
  • Employee
  • A small business with no employees, including sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies
  • A small business with employees, including sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies

For Contractors / Sole traders

If you’re working as a contractor and you have an ABN that you include on your invoices, you are considered a sole trader. 

  • You will continue to receive the existing JobKeeper payment of $1,500 a fortnight until 27 September 2020.
  • For the quarter from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper payment will be $1,200 a fortnight.
  • For the quarter from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper payment will be $1,000 a fortnight.
  • If you’re currently receiving the JobKeeper payment, you don’t automatically continue to receive it after 27 September.
  • You need to reassess your eligibility at the end of September in order to receive the $1,200 a fortnight payment.
  • You will need to prove that you’ve continued to experience a 30% drop in income throughout coronavirus.
  • This means a 30% drop for the months of July, August and September 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • You will then need to reassess your eligibility again at the beginning of January in order to receive the $1,000 a fortnight payment.
  • This means a 30% drop in income for the months of October, November and December 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • There are alternative tests available if there’s a reason that comparing to those months in 2019 doesn’t quite work.
  • You can still apply for JobKeeper if you haven’t already done so, as long as you meet all the original eligibility requirements. See my previous blog post on this.
  • You’re not able to receive the JobKeeper payment as a sole trader if you also have a part-time or full-time job with another employer.

For Employees

If you were teaching in a studio or had a job working as an employee:

  • The JobKeeper extension may or may not be available to your employer, depending on whether they continue to experience a 30% drop in income. If they do, they receive the payment as a subsidy so that they are able to continue paying you
  • The payment amount of $1,500 a fortnight is changing and the new amount will depend if you work full-time or part-time.
  • If you’re working more than 20 hours a week and employed from 1 July 2020, the new payment will be:
    • $1,200 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021; and
    • $1,000 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021.
  • If you’re working less than 20 hours a week and employed from 1 July 2020, the new payment will be:
    • $750 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021; and
    • $650 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021.

For Small Businesses with No Employees

If you run a business as a sole trader, company, partnership or trust and you have no employees, you are effectively self-employed. You have one person nominated as the ‘Eligible Business Participant’.

  • You will continue to receive the existing JobKeeper payment of $1,500 a fortnight until 27 September 2020 as an Eligible Business Participant
  • There is only 1 Eligible Business Participant per ABN
  • For the quarter from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper payment will be $1,200 a fortnight.
  • For the quarter from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper payment will be $1,000 a fortnight.
  • If you’re currently receiving the JobKeeper payment, you don’t automatically continue to receive it after 27 September.
  • You need to reassess your eligibility at the end of September in order to receive the $1,200 a fortnight payment.
  • You will need to prove that you’ve continued to experience a 30% drop in income throughout coronavirus.
  • This means a 30% drop for the months of July, August and September 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • You will then need to reassess your eligibility again at the beginning of January in order to receive the $1,000 a fortnight payment.
  • This means a 30% drop in income for the months of October, November and December 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • There are alternative tests available if there’s a reason that comparing to those months in 2019 doesn’t quite work.
  • You can still apply for JobKeeper if you haven’t already done so, as long as you meet all the original eligibility requirements. See my previous blog post on this.

Small Businesses with Employees

If you run a business as a sole trader, company, partnership or trust and you have employees that you pay a salary to, withhold tax and use the single touch payroll system:

  • You will continue to receive the existing JobKeeper payment of $1,500 a fortnight for you (as the Eligible Business Participant) and each of your eligible employees until 27 September 2020.
  • Employees are eligible if they were employed by you on a full-time or part-time basis, or as a casual employee for longer than 12 months, as at 1 July 2020 (changed from 1 March 2020)
  • The payment amount of $1,500 a fortnight is changing and the new amount will depend if your employees work full-time or part-time.
  • If you (as the Business Participant) and your employees are working more than 20 hours a week, the new payment will be:
    • $1,200 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021; and
    • $1,000 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021.
  • If you (as the Business Participant) and your employees are working less than 20 hours a week, the new payment will be:
    • $750 a fortnight from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021; and
    • $650 a fortnight from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021.
  • If you’re currently receiving the JobKeeper payment, you don’t automatically continue to receive it after 27 September.
  • You need to reassess your eligibility at the end of September in order to receive the $1,200/$750 a fortnight payments.
  • You will need to prove that you’ve continued to experience a 30% drop in income throughout coronavirus.
  • This means a 30% drop for the months of July, August and September 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • You will then need to reassess your eligibility again at the beginning of January in order to receive the $1,000/$650 a fortnight payments.
  • This means a 30% drop in income for the months of October, November and December 2020 compared to those months in 2019.
  • There are alternative tests available if there’s a reason that comparing to those months in 2019 doesn’t quite work.
  • You can still apply for JobKeeper if you haven’t already done so, as long as you meet all the original eligibility requirements. See my previous blog post on this.

JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement

  • The Government has also extended the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement until 31 December 2020.
  • The amount of the supplement is to be adjusted to reflect a gradually improving economy.
  • The coronavirus supplement will continue to be $550 per fortnight for payments up to 24 September 2020.
  • From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, the supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight.
  • You will get this coronavirus supplement if you’re currently receiving JobSeeker and also if you’re new to applying for JobSeeker
  • It’s also available to those receiving other payments from Centrelink including youth allowance, parenting payments etc.
  • There’s also a change to how much you can earn before the JobSeeker payment starts reducing – the amount is now $300 per fortnight (up from $256)
  • The assets means test will be reinstated after 25 September, meaning that if you have an asset such as a home or investment property, you may no longer be eligible for JobSeeker.
  • JobSeeker continues to be available to permanent employees who lose their jobs, sole traders, the self-employed, casual and contract workers who meet the income and assets tests until 31 December 2020.
  • Some job-seeking requirements are being reintroduced gradually.

If you need help with determining your eligibility for the JobKeeper extension, the Stimulus Package is available. You can make an appointment to discuss your individual situation.

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