Will I be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0?

Jul 21, 2020

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect changes announced on the 7th of August 2020 the changes were:

Eligibility for the December quarter will now be based only on turnover for the September quarter rather than needing to demonstrate the required drop in turnover for both the June and September quarters

Eligibility for the March quarter will now be based only on turnover for the December quarter rather than needing to demonstrate the required drop in turnover for all of the June, September and December quarters

The reference date for eligible employees has been moved from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020


The Government has announced an extension of the JobKeeper scheme to the 28th of March 2021. The catch is that there will be a new test for eligibility and payment rates will reduce.

The basic rules of the JobKeeper scheme are unchanged (except for moving the reference date for eligible employees to July) and there is no impact on eligibility prior to September 27 2020. If you were already receiving JobKeeper, your eligibility wont be retested until the 28th of September.

Am I eligible for a JobKeeper extension?

To be eligible for JobKeeper after the 27th of September, there will be a fresh test of whether your turnover has dropped. The amount of drop required is unchanged to what you used previously and in most cases is a 30% drop. To be eligible for JobKeeper in the December 2020 quarter you need to be able to show that your actual turnover for the September 2020 quarter has decreased by the required percentage in comparison to the test period. The basic test period is to compare September 2020 with September 2019. There will be some alternative tests of eligibility for businesses who don't have a representative test period like there was for the first stage of JobKeeper. These will be determined by the ATO and have not been announced as yet.

The same rules will apply to eligibility for the March 2021 quarter except that you will need to show that your turnover has dropped by the required amount for the December 2020 quarter.

These eligibility requirements are harder to meet than the original JobKeeper rules as you need to show a drop for a quarter rather than a month and you cant use projected turnover. This will mean that many businesses currently receiving JobKeeper will not be eligible for payments after the 27th of September.

What are the payment rates?

The current payment rate for JobKeeper is $1,500 per fortnight for all eligible employees. From the 28th of September there will be two payment tiers. Eligible employees who worked more than 20 hours per week on average in either the four weeks prior to 1 March or the four weeks prior to 1 July will receive the full payment while those who worked less than 20 hours per week in both of those periods will receive a lower payment.

The eligibility conditions for employees have changed from the fortnight starting 3rd August 2020 to be that the employee needs to have been employed and over 18 at the 1st of July 2020 if a full time or part time employee or employed for at least 12 months as at the 1st of July 2020 if they are a casual worker.


Payment Rates 28/9/2020 to 3/1/2021

Payment Rates 4/1/2021 to 28/3/2021

Eligible employee who worked over 20 hours per week in the four weeks prior to either 1 March or 1 June

$1,200 per fortnight

$1,000 per fortnight

Eligible employee who worked less than 20 hours per week in the four weeks prior to either 1 March or 1 July

$750 per fortnight

$650 per fortnight

There will be some alternative tests provided for employees who would normally work more than 20 hours per week, but did not in either February or June for certain reasons. These tests have not yet been announced.

The same payment rates apply to eligible business participants.

For employees who worked less than 20 hours per week in February or June, their payment rate will now be less than the full JobSeeker rate. JobSeekers who were entitled to the full JobSeeker rate have been receiving around $1,100 per fortnight from March to September including the $550 Coronavirus supplement. However from October the supplement will be reduced by $300 which will reduce the full JobSeeker payment to around $800 per fortnight. JobSeekers will now be able to earn up to $300 per fortnight without affecting their entitlement. Therefore many eligible employees on JobKeeper may need to consider registering for JobSeeker to top up their income. The amount of JobSeeker payment is partially determined by how much income you earned and also your partner. From the 25th of September eligibility will also require your assets to be under a certain amount. Generally you are eligible for some JobSeeker assistance if your fortnightly income is below about $1,000 but there are other factors taken into account. If you are eligible for any JobSeeker payment you will receive the full Coronavirus supplement which at the moment is $550 per fortnight but will reduce to $250 in October.

What do I do next?

Registration for the extension will not be available until at least the 1st of October 2020 because the new turnover test requires actual turnover for the September quarter.

If you aren't going to be eligible for the extension or you think you may not be, you need to start planning now to ensure you have sufficient cash flows to meet your obligations in an uncertain climate. We can assist you if you need any help with this.

Your employees should also be advised if they have been receiving top up payments that you think you may not be eligible after September or if you think you might be eligible that their minimum payment rates will reduce if they have been receiving top ups.

If you think you will be eligible you'll need to analyse your February or June payroll data to find out who worked more than 20 hours per week on average. This will need to be advised to the ATO in October if you are still eligible.

You may also need to review the eligibility of your current employees for the existing JobKeeper scheme for fortnights starting after the 3rd of August. For more information read our article here