AMENDMENTS TO JOBKEEPER RULES RELEASED

AMENDMENTS TO JOBKEEPER RULES RELEASED

Employers are welcoming the amendments to the JobKeeper Rules, which have provided some clarity for employers on some key matters.

Following the media release published by the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Treasurer on 24 April 2020 clarifying the operation of the rules regarding the JobKeeper payment (see a summary of this media release here – https://www.hrlawyers.com.au/jobkeeper-update-released/), the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020 has been registered giving effect to the Treasurer’s previously announced amendments to the JobKeeper scheme.

We have highlighted a number of the significant amendments below:

1.  The introduction of a modified decline in turnover test for certain group employers, i.e. where an entity is an employer that operates in a group structure. Employer entities will have to satisfy certain conditions, including supplying other members of the group with services as its principal activity.  The changes to the basic test include that:

a.  instead of the employer entity’s projected GST turnover for the turnover test period, the sum of the projected GST turnovers for that period of each related entity using the services of the employer entity (i.e. “test member”) is to be used; and

b.  instead of the employer entity’s current GST turnover for a relevant comparison period, the sum of the current GST turnovers for that period of each test member is to be used.

The modified test will also address circumstances in which the alternative decline in turnover test applies.

2.  Consistent with the “one in, all in” rule, a notification requirement has been introduced that an entity must provide an employee nomination notice to each of their eligible employees within seven days of enrolling to receive JobKeeper payments. This acts to ensure that eligible employees are given the opportunity to advise their employer if they agree or do not agree to be nominated to receive JobKeeper payments, prior to the employer notifying the Commissioner of Taxation of all eligible employees that have been nominated.

3.  There have been changes made to the eligibility of students for the JobKeeper payment. Namely, full-time students who are 16 or 17 years old and who are not financially independent will no longer be eligible for JobKeeper payments.  This change applies prospectively to JobKeeper fortnights commencing 11 May 2020 onwards.

4.  The Scheme has been extended to eligible religious practitioners who are active as members of a registered religious institution.

Other changes affect universities and charities and the relevant turnover tests in those circumstances.

If you require assistance understanding any of the rules relating to the JobKeeper payment or have any other questions related to the scheme, please contact the team at HR Law.

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