JobKeeper Extension 2 – Actions Required and Key Dates

JobKeeper Extension 2 – Actions Required and Key Dates

We strongly recommend all sole traders and business owners review their eligibility for the second extension period of the JobKeeper program covering the period 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 as a matter of priority. 

Even if you or your business were not eligible for the JobKeeper program in the September quarter, you may be eligible for the payment based on your income in the December quarter.  

To claim JobKeeper payments for this period, you will need to show that your actual GST turnover has declined in the December 2020 quarter relative to a comparable period (generally the December quarter in 2019).  

Key Dates 

  • 4 January 2021 – the JobKeeper extension 2 starts and the payment rates change for your eligible employees, eligible religious practitioners and eligible business participants. 
  • Between 4 January 2021 and 28 January 2021 – complete the December business monthly declaration (this is an extension of two weeks past the usual due date of the 14th day of each month). 
  • By 31 January 2021 – new entities enrolling for JobKeeper will need to enrol and submit their ‘Check decline in turnover’ form to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online. 
  • 31 January 2021 – for JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 only (from 4 January 2021 and 18 January respectively 2021), the ATO is allowing employers until 31 January 2021 to pay their employees. 

New Eligibility Requirements 

In addition to the original eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper program, sole traders and business owners will need to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has fallen by 30% or more against a comparable period. In most cases this will mean comparing the actual GST turnover figures for December 2019 and December 2020.  

Alternative tests are available in certain circumstances, such as the business commenced operation after September 2019 but before March 2020. For more information on alternative tests, please contact us to discuss your situation. 

You will also need to have satisfied the original decline in turnover test, however if you: 

  • were entitled to receive JobKeeper for fortnights before 3 January 2021, you have already satisfied the original decline in turnover test 
  • are enrolling in JobKeeper for the first time from 4 January 2021, if you satisfy the actual decline in turnover test, you will also satisfy the original decline in turnover test (except for certain universities), then you can enrol on that basis 

JobKeeper Payment Rates 

Effective 4 January 2021 there are two new payment rates for the JobKeeper program – a tier 1 (higher) rate and a tier 2 (lower) rate. 

JobKeeper Fortnights Tier 1 Rate Tier 2 Rate 
4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021 $1,000.00 $650.00 

You will also need to pay your eligible employees at least the JobKeeper amount that applies to them each JobKeeper fortnight – for JobKeeper extension 2, this will be either $1,000 for Tier 1 or $650 for Tier 2. 

Please note that JobKeeper payments are made to you in arrears. You must have made payments to your employees (met the wage condition) to be reimbursed. For the month of January 2021, the ATO is allowing employers until 31 January 2021 to pay their employees. 

Which “tier rate” is my eligible employee / business participant entitled to? 

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In order to receive the Tier 1 rate, employees must have worked a minimum 80 hours in the 28 days prior to the last day of the pay cycle that ended on or before either

  • 1 March 2020 
  • 1 July 2020. 

Where your employee did not work at least 80 hours over the relevant 28 days, they will be entitled to the Tier 2 rate of pay. 

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In order to receive the Tier 1 rate, eligible business participants / religious practitioners must have worked a minimum 80 hours in the month of February 2020. 

Where the eligible business participant did not work at least 80 hours in February 2020, they will be entitled to the Tier 2 rate of pay. 

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Alternative Reference Periods 

In some circumstances, an alternative reference period for the hours an eligible employee, business participant or religious practitioner worked can be used. 

The alternative reference period can only be applied if the standard reference period is not suitable, for example the person worked reduced hours due to sickness, injury or leave. 

For more information about alternative reference periods, please contact us to discuss your circumstances. 

If you have any questions regarding this information 

Please contact Ausena Accountants on (07) 3209 4088 or email us at springwood@ausena.com.au.