JobKeeper and JobSeeker Extended amidst a State of Disaster in Victoria

JobKeeper and JobSeeker Extended amidst a State of Disaster in Victoria

The Federal government has announced that it will be extending and refining JobKeeper and JobSeeker. This announcement was made before Victoria enacted a State of Emergency, which yesterday became a State of Disaster.

A brief summary of the amendments, which are yet to be legislated –

JobKeeper payment rate

  • From 28 September to 3 January $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants, who, under the qualifying criteria, work on average at least 20 hours or more in the registered business; and $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees
  • From 4 January to 28 March $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants, who, under the qualifying criteria, work on average at least 20 hours or more in the registered business; and $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees

JobKeeper turnover tests

  • From 28 September eligibility is by reference to an ongoing significant decline in actual GST turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters
  • From 4 January eligibility is by reference to an ongoing significant decline in actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters
  • The Commissioner of Taxation will continue to have discretion to set out alternative tests to establish eligibility in specific circumstances where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019

JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement payment rate

  • From 25 September to 31 December it will decrease from $550 per fortnight to $250 per fortnight for Jobseeker and other eligible recipients, such as those on Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, NEIS participants and Austudy
  • The income free area will increase from $106 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight and above $300 per fortnight an income test will apply at 60 cents of income earned

JobSeeker eligibility tests

  • Means testing for assets will be reintroduced from 25 September
  • Partner income testing will increase from $80,238 per annum for individuals with no personal income, also from 25 September
  • Until 31 December Jobseeker will continue to be available for sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income and assets tests
  • Mutual obligation requirements, such as voluntary job searches and participation in appointments and activities with an employment service provider, will continue but with regard to the capacity of the jobseeker to comply with these requirements and the state of the local labour market

It should be noted that Victoria, whose economy comprises 25% of the national economy, yesterday imposed a Stage 4 shutdown that is intended to last until mid-September, a fortnight before the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker are meant to come into effect. It is expected the Federal government will take this development into consideration when drafting the legislation for these stimulus programs.

Cashflow boost, which has been of great benefit to eligible clients of the practice, has not been extended beyond the March and June activity statement periods.

Please contact the practice for further assistance:
Marianne: JobKeeper applications for sole traders
mariannec@artsaccountants.com.au
Kim: JobKeeper applications for employers, directors and partners
kim@artsaccountants.com.au
Jane: single touch payroll enquiries
jane@artsaccountants.com.au
Lachlan: nomination forms
lachlan@artsaccountants.com.au

 

Image detail: Richard Lewer, Things could be worse (2020)Acrylic on pegboard, 50cm by 50cm