September 7, 2020
Manage your finances

JobKeeper Extension and JobTrainer: What You Need to Know

The Australian Government has recently announced changes to the JobKeeper Payment, which are set to take effect from 28 September 2020. They have also introduced a new initiative called JobTrainer, to help Australians find work. Here's what you need to know.

JobTrainer: Retraining and upskilling Australians

The Australian Government announced its new JobTrainer package in mid-July, investing $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians the opportunity to access new skills, retraining and upskilling them for sectors with job opportunities.

Partnering with state and territory governments, this initiative will give Australians access to free or low cost training places in areas of identified skills needs.

What does the program involve?

The overall $2.5 billion investment is split across two initiatives:

JobTrainer fund: Worth $1 billion, the JobTrainer fund will provide for around 340,700 additional training places to help school leavers and job seekers gain the skills they need to get a job in the current employment market.

Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy: A further $1.5 billion will be made available to expand and extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy, which will be extended to 31 March 2021.

Who is eligible for the wage subsidy?

Eligibility for the subsidy will be expanded to include medium-sized businesses with fewer than 200 employees who had an apprentice in place on 1 July 2020.

For more information refer to the Australian Government’s fact sheet “Supporting apprentices and trainees”.

JobKeeper Extension: Continued support during COVID-19

The Australian Government recently announced that they are extending the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months, but there are some changes - the payment rate will be reduced and a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours.

What are the changes to JobKeeper?

The JobKeeper Payment remains available to eligible businesses, not-for-profits and self-employed people. However, the JobKeeper Extension incorporates the following changes:

CHANGES TO THE PAYMENT AMOUNT

  • the payment will now run until 28 March 2021
  • the payment rate will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020
  • the payment rate will be reduced to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021
  • lower payment rates will apply for employees that worked fewer than 20 hours per week, from 28 September 2020

CHANGES TO THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  • from 28 September 2020 businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover)
  • from 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to further reassess their turnover to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. They will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test with reference to their actual GST turnover in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible
  • actual GST turnover is different to projected, so you will need to ensure to correctly assess and to continue to receive payments, you must reassess based on actual turnover for the September quarter

What are the eligibility criteria for business?

To be eligible for JobKeeper Payments under the extension, businesses and not-for-profits will still need to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in turnover of:

• 50 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion;

• 30 per cent for those with an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less; or

• 15 per cent for Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission-registered charities (excluding schools and universities)

Other eligibility rules for businesses and not-for-profits and their employees remain unchanged. Further information can be found on the ATO’s JobKeeper Payment page.

What are the eligibility criteria for employees?

The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged. Employees will continue to receive the JobKeeper Payment through their employer during the period of the extension if they and their employer are eligible and their employer is claiming the JobKeeper Payment. 

The self-employed will be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment where they meet the relevant turnover test, and are not a permanent employee of another employer.

For more information refer to “Extension of the JobKeeper Payment” fact sheet.

What are the new JobKeeper Payment rates?

Under the JobKeeper Extension, the rates of payment will be reduced in two separate stages, starting from September 28th 2020. 

FROM 28 SEPTEMBER 2020 - 3 JANUARY 2021

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

• $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average, and for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and

• $750 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

FROM 4 JANUARY 2021 - 28 MARCH 2021

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rates will be:

• $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average in the month of February 2020; and

• $650 per fortnight for other eligible employees and business participants.

For more information refer to “Extension of the JobKeeper Payment” fact sheet.

Our team will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date government advice. We realise that all of the recent policy changes may be confusing, and we are more than happy to clarify any concerns or questions that you might have. 

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