Job Keeper – The Next Cycle


As every Australian business will know, the ATO’s Job Keeper scheme has been in place since March this year, when the COVID pandemic swept through the country, and the rest of the world.

Eligible businesses who reported a decline in periodic turnover of at least 30% compared to the related period in 2019, were able to receive fortnightly subsidies of $1,500 per registered employee from the Tax Office, with a view of helping businesses cover employee liabilities, and reduce job losses and redundancies.

With a second major wave of the COVID pandemic hitting Victoria in particular during the mid-year, the ATO announced an extension of the Job Keeper scheme from September 2020, through to March 2021. Originally the scheme was due to end in late September.

Two extension periods have been announced, September 28 to January 3 (Extension 1), and January 4 to March 28 (Extension 2). The rates of subsides for the extension periods have changed.

For Extension 1, business is entitled to $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employees.

An eligible employee must have worked at least 80 hours in the 4 weeks before either March 1, or July 1 this year.

An eligible business participant must have been engaged in the business for at least 80 hours in February 2020.

The second rate of subsidy for any employee or business participant who did not meet the hours criteria above, is $750 per fortnight.

For Extension 2, the subsidy rates reduce to $1,000 and $650 per fortnight, respectively.

To meet the turnover test in Extension 1, the business must verify a drop of 15%, 30%, or 50% in the September 2020 quarter, compared to the same quarter twelve months earlier.

For Extension 2, the drop in turnover of the same percentages must be verified for the December 2020 quarter, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.