JobKeeper response to Victoria’s second wave

by | Aug 10, 2020 | COVID-19 Blog, Employment Law and Workplace Relations Blog

The Australian Government has announced it is adjusting the JobKeeper Payment to ensure that businesses and employees can access the help they need as the COVID-19 situation evolves. In our latest update, our Employment and Workplace Relations team summarise the refinements of the JobKeeper Scheme.

Government’s announcement on 7 August 2020

Further to our alert on 28 July 2020, the Federal Government announced on 7 August 2020 that they are easing eligibility requirements to the JobKeeper Scheme nationally in response to the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria.

The two key adjustments relate to:

  1. Employee eligibility; and
  2. the Business Turnover Test.

Employee Eligibility

From 3 August 2020, employee eligibility has been modified so that an eligible employee is one who was registered on the business’s books as of 1 July 2020. Previously, the employee had to be on the books as of 1 March 2020.

The Business Turnover Test

Originally, the Federal Government stated that to remain eligible for JobKeeper after 28 September 2020, businesses would be required to demonstrate a 30% decline in the previous two quarters to show that they were suffering ongoing significant financial difficulty. This meant that to remain eligible for the December quarter, a 30% decline in turnover would need to be present in the June and September quarters.

The newly announced modifications now state that to be eligible for JobKeeper post 28 September 2020, the 30% decline in turnover need only be demonstrated for the previous quarter. Therefore, to remain eligible for the December quarter, only the September quarter needs to demonstrate a 30% decline. Accordingly, when reassessed for the March 2021 quarter, only the December quarter needs to demonstrate a 30% decline.

These changes apply nationwide despite being instigated by events occurring in Victoria.

If your business is impacted by any of these employment changes connected with COVID-19, and you require further guidance, please contact our employment and workplace relations team.

Jenny Edinger

Jenny Edinger