By Amanda Curatore
Employers and employees alike can breathe a sigh of relief as Prime Minister Scott Morrison this afternoon announced the JobKeeper scheme will be extended until March 2021. Morrison stated that the Government’s review into JobKeeper found the scheme needed to continue, but it needed to be more targeted. Changes to the scheme, including eligibility criteria and payment amount, will substantially change. Here’s what you need to know…
What’s changed for employees?
A quarter of JobKeeper recipients are currently receiving an average of $550 a fortnight more on the JobKeeper program than compared to their ordinary earnings. The flat rate of $1500 per fortnight will continue until 27 September 2020, however, after that, the rate will be reduced and applied via a two-tier scheme.
From 28 September until 3 January 2021, full-time employees will receive $1200 per fortnight and part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $750 per fortnight.
From 4 January until 28 March 2021, full-time employees will receive $1000 per fortnight and part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $650 per fortnight.
What’s changed for employers?
Businesses will still need to show they have suffered reduced turnover of 30% (or 50% if the businesses turnover is more than $1 billion), however, reporting requirements have now changed. Businesses will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both June and September 2020 quarters in order to be eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy in the December quarter. Businesses will then need to demonstrate that they have met the decline in turnover test again in the quarter until 31 December 2020 in order to be eligible to receive payment in 2021. This is part of the Government’s attempt to keep the subsidy targeted and to help businesses wean off support.
What about employees who have lost their job?
Employees who have lost their job will be eligible to receive the JobSeeker payment along with the Coronavirus Supplement. The Coronavirus Supplement is currently $550 per fortnight, however, post 27 September 2020, this will be reduced to $250 per fortnight. The current JobSeeker payment of $565.70 per fortnight will not be reduced meaning that individuals who find themselves out of work post 27 September 2020 will be entitled to receive a total of $815.70 per fortnight.
If you have any questions about this information in this article, contact the team at HR Assured.
Amanda Curatore is a qualified senior workplace relations consultant at FCB Group and HR Assured. Amanda is highly experienced in providing workplace relations advice and assistance to clients in a wide range of matters including employment contracts, modern award interpretation, managing performance, bullying and harassment, terminations and managing risk.