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JobKeeper and JobSeeker extended as eligibility tightens, payments cut

JobKeeper and JobSeeker extended as eligibility tightens, payments cut

The JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs have been extended, however the rules have been tightened and the payments will be smaller after September.

The payments were expected to finish in September, however the federal government extended the programs on July 21 to support workers, businesses and people out of work.

The JobKeeper payments have been extended until the end of March 2021, while the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement will continue until the end of this year.

The JobKeeper payments will decline from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight after September, while people working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750.

During the first three months of next year, the JobKeeper payment will decrease again to $1,000 per fortnight, while people working fewer than 20 hours will be paid $650.

The JobSeeker coronavirus payment will be cut from $550 to $250, leaving people on the program with $815 a fortnight after September.

How the JobKeeper changes affect businesses

From the end of September, businesses looking to claim the JobKeeper payments will have to reassess their eligibility for the program.

Businesses and not-for-profits will have to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing decline in turnover, using actual turnover rather than projected turnover.

To be eligible for the wage subsidy, businesses and organisations need to show a decline of:

  • 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;
  • 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or
  • 15 per cent for Australian charities and not-for-profit commission-registered charities.

Further changes to JobKeeper

On August 7, the federal government announced further changes to JobKeeper to make the wage subsidy program more accessible amid Victoria’s second lockdown.

The relevant date of employment for eligible staff was moved from March 1 to July 1 to allow more employees to join the program.

Under the changes, businesses and organisations will only have to demonstrate that their actual turnovers significantly declined in the previous quarter.

Previously, businesses would have had to show major falls in turnover for the June and September quarters to qualify for JobKeeper after September.

Get expert advice on JobKeeper

The JobKeeper program continues to play a critical role for many businesses, as the economy struggles with COVID-19 and the associated restrictions.

As the rules around the wage subsidy become more complex, it’s important that business owners get expert advice from experienced financial advisors.

LDB is here to help businesses during these unprecedented times, whether it’s additional information about the JobKeeper program, assisting with JobKeeper lodgements or tailored business continuity advice.

To speak to one of our trusted financial advisors, call us on (03) 9875 2900 or send us a message via our contact form below.

This article was originally published on July 22, 2020 and updated on August 11, 2020 to include new information.

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