LEGAL ALERT: JobKeeper 2.0

The Government’s JobKeeper 2.0 legislation (Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020) is expected to be introduced to the House of Representatives today, after the Federal Labor caucus agreed that it would support the legislation.

The new legislation (“JobKeeper 2.0”) extends the flexibility measures provided by the original JobKeeper legislation (“JobKeeper 1.0”) (refer to our 9 April 2020 Legal Alert: http://www.emalegal.com.au/2020/04/09/jobkeeper-changes-to-the-fair-work-act-pass-parliament/) for JobKeeper qualifying employers (i.e. employers who meet the relevant decline in turnover test who have eligible employees).

JobKeeper payments

To receive JobKeeper payments from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2020, employers will need to meet the decline in turnover test for the September quarter (July, August, September) based on actual GST turnover, which will entitle them to:

  • $1200 per fortnight for eligible employees that in the 4 weeks before 1 March 2020 were employed for 20 hours or more a week (on average); and
  • $750 per fortnight for eligible employees that in the 4 weeks before 1 March 2020, were employed for less than 20 hours a week (on average).

To receive JobKeeper payments from 4 January 2021 until 28 March 2021, employers will need to meet the decline in turnover test for the December quarter (October, November, December) based on actual GST turnover, which will entitle them to:

  • $1000 per fortnight for eligible employees that in the 4 weeks before 1 March 2020 were employed for 20 hours or more a week (on average);
  • $650 per fortnight for eligible employees that in the 4 weeks before 1 March 2020, were employed for less than 20 hours a week (on average).

‘Legacy employers’

Employers that previously received JobKeeper payments under JobKeeper 1.0 for eligible employees but no longer qualify for continued payments (referred to as “legacy employers”) can continue to access the Scheme’s flexibility measures if they can demonstrate that their turnover has declined by 10% or more in the designated quarter compared to the same quarter last year (which will need to be certified by an independent financial services provider), except that:

  • Reductions to an employee’s hours of work cannot be below 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours of work;
  • Legacy employers cannot require an employee to work less than 2 hours on a day they work; and
  • Legacy employers must give employees 7 days written notice before a JobKeeper Enabling Stand Down Direction (as opposed to the previous requirement to provide 3 days).

EMA Legal can assist employers with any questions about the continuation of the JobKeeper Scheme.


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