Easing of JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Program

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced on Friday 7 August 2020 that the easing of what had been advised, changed eligibility thresholds for businesses and employees to qualify for the JobKeeper wage subsidy program.  The Treasurer’s announcement comes as the significant second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria shuts down major parts of Victoria’s economy.

The Government has set aside an extra $15.6 billion for the JobKeeper wage subsidy program.

Important changes to the JobKeeper program include:

  1. Business Turnover Test

Previous Government announcements indicated that “in order to be eligible as a business for the December quarter, you needed to be down in both the June and the September quarters”.  Under the new announcement, we understand that businesses will only have to demonstrate eligibility for the Jobkeeper program for the September 2020 quarter, to be also eligible for the December 2020 quarter.

The easing of the Business Turnover Test is aimed at including businesses that were going well through April, May and June but may now be subject to lockdown.

We understand that eased arrangements will also apply for the March 2021 quarter.

  1. Employee eligibility test

The previous iteration of the Jobkeeper employee eligibility test required employees to have worked for an eligible employer at 1 March 2020 (subject to other arrangements that were applicable for casual employees etc).  According to the latest announcements, for an employee to be eligible for the program, the employee needs to have worked for the eligible employer as at 1 July 2020.

We continue to assess the changes to the JobKeeper program issued by the Federal Government and will endeavour to provide additional and more specific details about the changes in due course.

Disclaimer: The information contained this article is general and intended as a guide only. Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances. While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this update, Aitken Legal does not accept liability for any errors it may contain. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.