JobKeeper updated key dates

JobKeeper updated key dates

With the Christmas–New Year shutdown period fast approaching, and the pressure and challenges of 2020 taking an enormous toll, economically, financially and affecting the mental health of practitioners and business owners, the ATO has extended various JobKeeper deadlines that fall in January 2021. This article sets out and explains the revised JobKeeper key dates remaining for the program.

New decline in turnover form available and enrolments

Enrolments for JobKeeper fortnights ending in:

  • November 2020 ended on 30 November 2020;
  • December 2020 end on 31 December 2020.

Eligible employers will need to complete a new decline in turnover form (available through the Business Portal or Online Services) to determine whether they are eligible to participate in the second JobKeeper Payment extension period from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

The new decline in turnover form must be lodged before existing eligible employers can complete their business monthly declarations from 1 February 2021.

Employers new to JobKeeper for the first time who wish to claim for fortnights:

  • 21 and 22 will need to enrol and submit the decline in turnover form by 31 January 2021;
  • 23 and 24 will need to enrol and submit the decline in turnover form by 28 February 2021;
  • 25 and 26 will need to enrol and submit the decline in turnover form by 31 March 2021.

Wage condition

Under the JobKeeper rules, employers claiming JobKeeper for a fortnight for eligible employees must meet the wage condition for those employees by the end of the JobKeeper fortnight.

Extensions to the usual deadline were made for the first two fortnights (ending 12 and 26 April 2020) due to the timing of the introduction of the program. Extensions to 31 October 2020 were also made for fortnights 14 and 15 (ending 11 and 25 October) due to the transition to JobKeeper 2.1 and the need to redetermine eligibility for the program to 3 January 2021.

With the deadlines for fortnight 22 falling immediately after the Christmas break, and the need for employers to once again redetermine eligibility for the program to 28 March 2021, the ATO has extended the date by which the wage condition must be met for certain JobKeeper fortnights.

Fortnight 20 (ending 3 January 2021)

The ATO will allow employers until 4 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for their eligible employees for the JobKeeper fortnight ending on 3 January 2021.

While many employers would no doubt have preferred a longer extension, allowing more time would be problematic. Under the rules, JobKeeper payments must be made in arrears and employers are reimbursed only once the wage condition has been met. If employers were permitted to meet the wage condition for fortnight 20 beyond 4 January 2021, they would be able to claim JobKeeper by lodging their December business monthly declaration before they were required to meet the wage condition, meaning that some employers may have been able to claim JobKeeper before they had paid their employees.

Fortnight 20 forms part of the monthly reporting for December even though it ends on 3 January 2021 because the payment rates align with fortnights 18 and 19 (ending 6 and 20 December 2020).

Employers need to pay their eligible employees at least the JobKeeper amount per fortnight, which is $1,200 for tier 1 (the higher amount) and $750 for tier 2 (the lower amount).

Fortnights 21 and 22 (ending 17 and 31 January 2021)

The ATO will allow employers until 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for their eligible employees for the JobKeeper fortnights ending on 17 and 31 January 2021.

This will allow employers time to determine whether they are eligible to participate in the JobKeeper payment extension period from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 before having to meet the wage condition for fortnights 21 and 22.

While again, some employers would likely have preferred a longer extension, allowing more time would be problematic. As explained above, JobKeeper payments must be made in arrears and employers are reimbursed only once the wage condition has been met. If employers were permitted to meet the wage condition for fortnights 21 and 22 beyond 31 January 2021, they would be able to claim JobKeeper by lodging their January business monthly declaration before they were required to meet the wage condition, meaning that some employers may have been able to claim JobKeeper before they had paid their employees.

Employers need to pay their eligible employees at least the JobKeeper amount per fortnight, which is $1,000 for tier 1 (the higher amount) and $650 for tier 2 (the lower amount).

Fortnights 23 to 26 (from 1 February to 28 March 2021)

The normal rules apply for the remainder of the JobKeeper program. The wage condition for fortnights 23 to 26 (from 1 February to 28 March 2021) will need to be meet by the each of each fortnight. No extensions apply to this period.

Employers need to pay their eligible employees at least the JobKeeper amount per fortnight, which is $1,000 for tier 1 (the higher amount) and $650 for tier 2 (the lower amount).

The complete schedule of JobKeeper fortnights is set out below.

TABLE 1: Schedule of JobKeeper fortnights

 

JobKeeper fortnight

Wage condition deadline

Month of payment by ATO

Monthly ATO payment per eligible individual

1.

2.

30 March–12 April 2020

13–26 April 2020

8 May 2020 (transitional)

June 2020 (instead of May 2020)

$3,000

3.

4.

27 April–10 May 2020

11–24 May 2020

10 May 2020

24 May 2020

June 2020

$3,000

5.

6.

25 May–7 June 2020

8–21 June 2020

7 June 2020

21 June 2020

July 2020

$3,000

7.

8.

22 June–5 July 2020

6–19 July 2020

5 July 2020

19 July 2020

August 2020

$3,000

9.

10.

11.

20 July–2 August 2020

3–16 August 2020

17–30 August 2020

2 August 2020

16 August 20201

30 August 20201

September 2020

$4,500

12.

13.

31 August–13 September 2020

14–27 September 2020

13 September 2020

27 September 2020

October 2020

$3,000

14.

15.

28 September–11 October 2020

12–25 October 2020

31 October 2020 (transitional)

November 2020

$2,400 (higher rate)

$1,500 (lower rate)

16.

17.

26 October–8 November 2020

9–22 November 2020

8 November 2020

22 November 2020

December 2020

$2,400 (higher rate)

$1,500 (lower rate)

18.

19.

20.

23 November–6 December 2020

7–20 December 2020

21 December 2020–
3 January 2021

6 December 2020

20 December 2020

4 January 2021
(transitional)

January 2021

$3,600 (higher rate)

$2,250 (lower rate)

21.

22.

4–17 January 2021

18–31 January 2021

31 January 2021
(transitional)

31 January 2021

February 2021

$2,000 (higher rate)

$1,300 (lower rate)

23.

24.

1–14 February 2021

15–28 February 2021

14 February 2021

28 February 2021

March 2021

$2,000 (higher rate)

$1,300 (lower rate)

25.

26.

1–14 March 2021

15–28 March 2021

14 March 2021

28 March 2021

April 2021

$2,000 (higher rate)

$1,300 (lower rate)

 

TOTAL POSSIBLE AMOUNT PER INDIVIDUAL

 

 

$33,900 (higher rate)

$28,650 (lower rate)

1   31 August 2020 for newly eligible employees

 

Business monthly declarations

Under the JobKeeper rules, employers claiming JobKeeper for a fortnight for eligible employees must complete their business monthly declarations by the 14th day of the month following the month for which they are claiming JobKeeper.

Claims for fortnights 18, 19 and 20 (23 November 2020 to 3 January 2021) open on 4 January 2021. However, in light of the holiday period, the ordinary deadline of 14 January has been extended to 28 January 2021. This allows employers an additional two weeks to claim JobKeeper payments for fortnights 18, 19 and 20.

Allowing more time would be problematic. If employers were permitted to lodge their business monthly declaration for fortnights 18, 19 and 20 in February 2021, this would start to interfere with the reporting of claims for fortnights 21 and 22.

Remember that the longer the employer leaves it to lodge their business monthly declaration, the longer they will have to wait for the ATO to make the JobKeeper payments. It is in the best interests of the employer to lodge the monthly declaration as soon as possible so they can receive their reimbursement sooner.

Further information

Check out our handy infographic for more on JobKeeper, or the ATO’s guidance on JobKeeper key dates.

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