New Employees Eligible for JobKeeper NOW
New Rules may make employees previously unable to access JobKeeper, eligible for support. Importantly, this only changes the employees eligibility, not the businesses ability to access JobKeeper.
The big change is the movement of the eligible date from 1 March to 1 July. There is no change to existing employees who are eligible and they do not need to be re-tested.
There also has been no change to the business eligibility requirements or the “wage” (minimum payment) condition, so all other existing rules still apply.
In more detail:
JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020
When do the changes apply?
The Amendment Rules have changed the eligibility reference date for employees for JobKeeper fortnights commencing on or after Monday 3 August 2020.
The revised reference date applies to:
- the final four fortnights of the current JobKeeper scheme — i.e. the fortnights commencing 3 August, 17 August, 31 August and 14 September 2020; and
- the proposed extended JobKeeper scheme — i.e. all fortnights from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.
The revised eligibility criteria
The revised eligibility criteria are as follows:
- the individual is employed by the entity at any time in the fortnight — including those stood down or re-hired;
- on 1 July 2020 — the individual was aged 18 or over (or if they were 16 or 17 years old on 1 July 2020 — they were independent or not undertaking full-time study);
- on 1 July 2020 — the individual was either a full-time, part-time or fixed-term permanent employee, or a long term casual employee;
- on 1 July 2020 — the individual was either an Australian resident for social security law purposes, or a tax resident and held a special category Subclass 444 visa;
- the individual agrees to be nominated by the employer as an eligible employee; and
- the individual does not receive the Government’s paid parental leave or dad and partner pay, or workers’ compensation payments for total incapacity for work, at any time during the fortnight.
Which employees will the changes affect?
The amendments allow employees who are not eligible under the former 1 March 2020 test date, but are now eligible under the 1 July 2020 reference date, to be enrolled for JobKeeper for fortnights commencing on or after 3 August 2020.
Affected employees include those who:
- did not meet the definition of a ‘long term casual employee’ as of 1 March 2020, but have since met the definition by 1 July 2020 — this group will mainly comprise casual employees who commenced with the employer between 3 March 2019 and 2 July 2019;
- turned 18 years old between 2 March 2020 and 1 July 2020;
- turned 16 years old, and were living independently or not undertaking full-time study, between 2 March 2020 and 1 July 2020;
- were 16 or 17 years old on 1 March 2020, but started living independently or stopped undertaking full-time study between 2 March 2020 and 1 July 2020; or
- became either an Australian resident for social security law purposes, or a tax resident and holding a special category Subclass 444 visa, between 2 March 2020 and 1 July 2020.
ATO example — Long term casual employee
On 1 June 2019, Kym began working as a casual barista at Top Cafe. During the period of 12 months that ended on 1 July 2020, she regularly worked shifts on Friday and Saturday mornings and occasionally worked shifts on other days. Although Kym may have worked different numbers of hours each week, Kym can be considered to be a long-term casual employee of Top Cafe because, on 1 July 2020, she was employed on a regular and systematic basis for a period of 12 months.
Revised employee nomination notices
The ATO has updated its JobKeeper Employee Nomination Notice to reflect the new eligibility test date of 1 July 2020 and the re-nomination exception. https://www.ato.gov.au/Forms/JobKeeper-payment—employee-nomination-notice/
This updated nomination notice only applies to employees who are enrolled based on the new 1 July 2020 eligibility reference date.
Contact your accountant should you require any specific advice for your business.