The second JobKeeper extension
The second JobKeeper extension will begin on the 4th of January 2021. This second extension runs until the 28th of March 2021, there are currently no further extensions advised.
Even if your business did not satisfy the decline in turnover test in the September 2020 quarter (and hence have not received JobKeeper payments since the end of September) you may be eligible to re-enter the scheme for the second extension.
If you have been receiving JobKeeper during the first extension, you may also be eligible to continue to receive payments for the second extension. Please note that there is still one payment left of the first extension - being payments for the fortnights in December.
You can also enrol in JobKeeper for the first time if you satisfy the decline in turnover test and all other eligibility requirements.
Below we have detailed the eligibility requirements, as well as further reductions to the payment rates.
Please feel free to contact us if you require further clarification.
The extension of the JobKeeper scheme was separated into two periods. The first period was 28th September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (first extension). The second period is 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 (second extension).
If you were receiving JobKeeper during the original scheme but were not eligible to continue receiving payments for the first extension (28 September to 3 January), you may re-enrol for the second extension.
You can also enrol in JobKeeper for the first time, even if you were not eligible for the original JobKeeper scheme or the first extension.
Note: You do not need to have employees to be eligible to receive JobKeeper - you can also claim with an 'eligible business participant' (sole trader, Trustee, Partner or Director). The eligibility requirements for a business participant are listed here.
To qualify for JobKeeper payments for the second extension, the business must have experienced an actual decline in turnover of at least 30% in the December 2020 quarter (October, November, December) compared to a comparable quarter in 2019 (generally the December 2019 quarter).
Alternative testing periods are available where applicable. The business and all employees in receipt of JobKeeper must still meet all other eligibility criteria. The above criteria is based on businesses with an annual aggregated turnover of less than $1 billion.
Businesses who are enrolling for the first time must enrol by the 31st of January 2021 via the ATO Business Portal.
They must also update their payroll software to set JobKeeper payment start dates for all eligible employees (for most this will be Fortnight 21) and file with the ATO. Most payroll software providers will have issued guides for this.
The following actions need to be completed by the 31st of January:
Submit the 'Identify employees' form via the ATO Business Portal (once the payroll software is updated).
Submit the 'Check decline in turnover form' online via the ATO Business Portal.
Ensure the minimum payments have been made for each employee.
After the 31st of January, each employee must receive the minimum payment for their tier by the end of each fortnight. Linked below are the JobKeeper fortnights and the last date for payment.
The payment rates for the second extension have been reduced. The following applies to both employees and eligible business participants:
Tier 1: The payment rate for those who worked 80 hours or more in the reference period is:
For fortnights on or after 4th Jan 2021 - $1,000 per fortnight
Tier 2: The payment rate for those who worked less than 80 hours in the reference period is:
For fortnights on or after 4th Jan 2021 - $650 per fortnight
These figures are gross (i.e. before tax). If any employee earns less than the minimum each fortnight, they will require a top-up payment. Businesses have until the 31st of January to make the top-up payments for the fortnights in January. Here is an ATO webpage with information on top-ups. The JobKeeper fortnights in January are:
Fortnight 21: 4 January 2021 to 17 January 2021
Fortnight 22: 18 January 2021 to 31 January 2021
If you require assistance determining which tier applies for your employees and/or eligible business participant - click below for more information. If you have already identified the tiers during the first extension, you do not need to re-check.