Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian economy the Federal Government has announced a six-month extension to the JobKeeper Payment scheme, which will continue to be available to eligible small businesses and the self-employed until 28 March 2021.
Originally due to end on 27 September 2020, JobKeeper payments will continue for eligible employees and business participants (including sole traders) into the first quarter of next year but will be reduced from $1,500 per eligible employee and participant to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020, and then to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
Lower payment rates will also apply for employees and business participants working fewer than 20 hours per week – $750 per fortnight from 28 September 2020, and $650 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
It’s important to note that if you or your employees have been eligible for JobKeeper payments during the first phase of the program, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically qualify for this new round of support.
In order to be eligible for these extended JobKeeper payments – and to keep up eligibility for the duration of the payment scheme – SMEs with an aggregated annual turnover of $1 billion or less will need to prove at least a 30% decrease in turnover during each of the June, September and December 2020 quarters. This is relative to recorded turnover in each of those quarters during 2019.
If you’re self-employed, you may be entitled to the JobKeeper payment for yourself if you meet the relevant reduced turnover requirements and aren’t a permanent employee of another business.
However, there’s one sector of small business that may not be eligible for the continued support program. From 20 July 2020, approved providers of childcare services have been deemed unable to claim JobKeeper payments for themselves or for any employees whose ‘ordinary duties relate principally to the operation of the childcare service’.
For more information about the extension of the JobKeeper scheme for small businesses, and to learn more about eligibility, visit: www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/
And for more information regarding the extension of the scheme and eligibility for sole traders, visit: www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Sole-traders/
The above information is a brief summary only and does not take into account your personal needs and is not a substitute for independent professional advice. We strongly recommend that you speak to your accountant as they will be able to provide you the most suitable advice for your individual circumstance and to ensure that you are also always receiving the most up to date information.
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