Do the new Jobkeeper employee eligibility rules affect you?

Aug 17, 2020

The Government has made a change to the current JobKeeper scheme to move the reference date for determining employee eligibility to the 1st of July 2020. This will bring many employees who weren't previously eligible into the scheme from the fortnight beginning the 3rd of August. The change will apply to the last four fortnights of the original JobKeeper scheme.

What do I need to do now?

1. Review your eligible employees

Under the initial rules, employee eligibility was based on employment status as at the 1st of March. All references to 1st of March have now been changed to the 1st of July so casual staff who may have been employed less than 12 months at the 1st of March may become eligible if they have been employed for more than 12 months at the 1st of July. The change also brings in new permanent staff who were employed before the 1st of July and staff members who turned 18 or became permanent residents prior to the 1st of July.

To be eligible for fortnights starting from the 3rd of August, employees need to be:

  • employed by an employer who is registered for JobKeeper
  • either were an eligible employee for a JobKeeper fortnight ended before 3 August using the 1 March test or they meet certain conditions at 1 July 2020. The conditions for the July test are that the employee was employed as either
    • a non-casual employee (full time, part time or fixed term) at the 1st of July 2020 or
    • a long term casual employee at the 1st of July 2020 (employed on a regular and systematic basis during the 12 month period that ended 1 July 2020) and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
  • 18 years or older at 1 July 2020 (or 16 or 17 if they were independent or not studying full time on 1 July 2020)
  • an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident or the holder of a Protected Special Category Visa Holder

Normally you can only claim JobKeeper from one employer and you couldn't claim from any other employer even if you left your original employer. Now a change has been made to allow an employee to re-enter Jobkeeper with another employer if:

  • Between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020 your employee stopped being an employee of their previous employer or stopped being actively engaged as an eligible business participant,
  • At the time they agree to be nominated by their new employer, the employee has not been rehired by their previous employer or restarted being actively engaged as an eligible business participant and
  • the employee meets the other requirements to be eligible for Jobkeeper fortnights starting after the 3rd of August 2020 (1 July test above)

2. Provide nomination forms

Employers will need to provide a JobKeeper employee nomination notice to any employees who may have become eligible due to these changes. JobKeeper is a one-in all-in scheme so any employee who is eligible must be offered the chance to nominate. If they are not provided with a nomination form, the employer may lose their entitlement to claim for all employees. The nomination form can be found here

3. Pay each eligible employee at least $1,500 gross wage per fortnight

Newly eligible employees will need to be paid top up payments if their gross wage for a fortnight is below $1,500. Normally this needs to be paid within the relevant Jobkeeper fortnight to be eligible for that fortnight. However there is a concession available to make this top up payment for newly eligible employees before the 31st of August for fortnights ending the 16th of August and the 30th of August. All other top up payments need to be made within the relevant JobKeeper fortnight.

4. Remember the end date of the current JobKeeper scheme is coming

The current JobKeeper scheme ends on the fortnight ending the 27th of September. Depending on the timing of your pay periods this may mean your JobKeeper eligibility may stop as early as the 14th of September so please ensure JobKeeper top ups are only paid for the required periods (13 fortnights if eligible since the start).

Once the first scheme ends you'll need to re-test eligibility to see if you are eligible for the second phase of JobKeeper. Eligibility for the second phase of JobKeeper cannot be tested until October as it is based on actual turnover for the September quarter. More information on eligibility can be found in our article here.