JobKeeper - ATO Releases Further Information on Change to Employee Eligibility

18 August 2020

Earlier this month the Federal Government announced a key change to the JobKeeper employee eligibility requirements. From 3 August 2020, workers employed from 1 July 2020 and meet the other eligibility requirements will become eligible for JobKeeper.

The ATO has now released further information on this change, and details of how it will be administered.

Please note that this change to employee eligibility will affect the current JobKeeper scheme as well as the extended JobKeeper scheme (JobKeeper 2.0). The change in employment date to 1 July 2020 does not apply for JobKeeper fortnights that ended before 3 August 2020 (that is, employees must continue to satisfy the 1 March 2020 test to be an eligible employee for JobKeeper fortnights ended before 3 August 2020).

Overview of eligibility requirements from 3 August 2020

An employee is an eligible employee for a JobKeeper fortnight starting on or after 3 August 2020 if they:

  • are employed by at any time in the JobKeeper fortnight;
  • didn't receive any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:   
    • government parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay;
    • a payment in accordance with Australian workers compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work;
    • agree to be nominated;
    • were either an eligible employee for a JobKeeper fortnight ended before 3 August 2020 using the 1 March test or they meet certain conditions at 1 July 2020 (the 1 July test):
      • At 1 July 2020 they were employed as either a:  
        • non-casual employee; or
        • long term casual employee not a permanent employee of any other employer;
        • they were 18 years or older (if they were 16 or 17, they can also qualify if they were independent or not studying full time on 1 July 2020); and
        • were an Australian resident under the Social Security Act 1991 or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.

For the fortnights commencing on 3 August 2020 and 17 August 2020, the ATO are allowing employers until 31 August 2020 to meet the wage condition for all new eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme under the 1 July eligibility test. This means that employers will have until 31 August to pay employees who meet the 1 July test any top up amounts, so they meet the $1500 a fortnight minimum wage condition.

Employees who have been nominated by a previous employer

If an employee has previously been nominated as an eligible employee by another employer, or as an eligible business participant they can be nominated by a new employer where they meet all the following conditions for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020:

  • between 1 March 2020 and 1 July 2020, the employee stopped being:
    • an employee of their previous employer; or
    • actively engaged as an eligible business participant;
    • at the time they agree to be nominated they had not been rehired by their previous employer or restarted being actively engaged as an eligible business participant; and
    • they meet other requirements to be an eligible employee for JobKeeper fortnights starting on or after 3 August 2020 (including the 1 July test).

Nominating employees

Where an employer has not previously been enrolled in the JobKeeper scheme, they must inform relevant employees of their election to participate in JobKeeper within 7 days of enrolment and detail the steps the employee must take to agree to be nominated.

If an employer has already enrolled to participate in JobKeeper and has additional employees that become eligible on or after 3 August 2020 using the 1 July test, they must provide an Employee Nomination Notice to their new eligible employees.

It is important to remember that under the one-in all-in principle that an employer must provide an Employee Nomination Notice to all new eligible employees.

An updated nomination form can now be found on the ATO website here. 

Rules for those under 18 years old

If an employee was 17 at 1 March 2020, they may be eligible for JobKeeper from 3 August 2020 under the 1 July test, if they turned 18 on or before 1 July 2020.

If an employee turned 16 between 2 March and 1 July 2020, they may now be an eligible employee from 3 August 2020, under the 1 July test, if they were independent or not in full-time study on 1 July 2020.

Further information about these changes can be found on the ATO website here.

The change to the employee test was first announced earlier this month by the Federal Government as part of their response to the ongoing pandemic and tougher restrictions in Victoria. Click here to read about this announcement.

We will send more information as it becomes available. Please contact your local Boyce accountant for more information.

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