On 21 July 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, announced that JobKeeper will continue until 28 March 2021, extending beyond the initial September end-date. However, commencing from 28 September 2020, the payments will be reduced and based on a new Two-Tier system, and again reduced from 4 January 2021 onwards.
Companies/businesses will still be required to re-qualify for JobKeeper after September and prove that their turnover has still decreased by 30% or more with reference to their actual turnover in the June and September 2020 quarters. The idea behind the reduced payments is so that small businesses in particular are not left without support as the restrictions ease and people are again spending money.
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rate will decrease from the current $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200 per fortnight for eligible workers. However, this will only apply for workers who, prior to 1 March 2020, were working more than 20 hours per week. Whilst people who were working less than 20 hours per week on average prior to 1 March 2020, will receive $750 per fortnight.
From 4 January 2021, these payments will reduce to $1,000 and $650 per fortnight respectively.
The new ‘Two-Tier’ payment takes into consideration part-time rates given that around 1 in 4 workers on JobKeeper under the current payment regime were receiving a pay rise of approximately $550 per fortnight.
With the impending threat of a ‘second-wave’ of COVID-19 resurfacing, provide us with your thoughts in the comments below whether this is a positive step in the right direction or whether this is simply a significant unnecessary expense.