What you need to know:

The last extension of the JobKeeper 2.0 scheme has begun and will be active for all ATO fortnights ending during 4 January to 28 March 2021. Eligibility differs from the previous JobKeeper. 

To be eligible for this extension, an actual decline in turnover test (a 30% decline for most businesses or a 15% decline for most not for profits) must be satisfied as follows:

  • your actual GST turnover has declined in the December 2020 quarter compared to the December 2019 quarter, and
  • you must qualify for the original decline in turnover tests. This would already be done if you are currently enrolled for JobKeeper or if you qualify for the decline in turnover test for the quarter ended 31 December 2020. 

To determine whether you have met the decline in turnover for the December 2020 quarter, you must use the same calculation method you use for GST purposes (i.e. cash or accruals). This generally means you compare the total sales at label G1 (Adjusted to be net of GST payable at label 1A) on your BAS to the corresponding prior period being December 2019 quarter.
Except in limited circumstances, you cannot choose an alternative calculation method (cash or accruals) to that used on your BAS.

What’s changed:

Payment rates
The Tier payment rates have been reduced compared to last year's JobKeeper 2.0 scheme but they still depend on the number of hours worked by an eligible employee or an eligible business participant actively engaged in the business and is split into two rates, Tier 1 and Tier 2.

The Tier 1 rate applies to:

  • eligible employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods ending before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, and
  • eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more during the month of February 2020 and provide a declaration to that effect.

The Tier 2 rate applies to all other eligible employees and eligible business participants.

The payment rates apply for all ATO fortnights ending between 4 January and 28 March 2021 and are as follows:

JobKeeper 2.0 Extension 
Tier 1 rate per fortnight $1,000
Tier 2 rate per fortnight $650

Due dates to meet wage condition

To meet the wage condition, each eligible employee is required to be paid up to their relevant JobKeeper tier rate in gross wages by the required due date.

Even though there may have been extensions to due dates at the start fo the new scheme, the due date to meet the wage condition for March 2021 and the previous month (February 2021) will be at the end of each ATO fortnight. Please note, exceptions may apply for businesses on monthly payroll.

How to apply:

Eligible employers that are new to JobKeeper will be required to enrol, identify their eligible employees and their eligible business participants and complete a decline in turnover confirmation by the end of each month for January 2021 – March 2021 in order to claim the subsidy.

For example, if you are enrolling for the JobKeeper scheme for the first time in March 2021, you will be required to complete your enrolment and submit a decline in turnover confirmation with the ATO by 31 March 2021.

Businesses who previously participated in the JobKeeper scheme, will not be required to re-enrol.
All businesses participating in the scheme will be required to complete a new decline in turnover confirmation form with the ATO. Please refer below for more details.

Identify your eligible employees
For most businesses, this step can be completed through their Single Touch Payroll (STP) software which has JobKeeper capability enabled. E.g. MYOB Live, Xero, QuickBooks Online etc.
If you are a new business participating in JobKeeper for 2021 and do not use STP software, you will be required to complete this step online (available through the Business portal or Online Services).

New decline in turnover form
To participate in the scheme, all eligible businesses who have experienced the required decline in turnover, must complete and submit a new decline in turnover form (available through the Business portal or Online Services). These forms are available to complete from 4 January – 28 March 2021 and will be required to be lodged before you can claim any JobKeeper subsidies under this scheme.

What to do next

  • Determine if your business has met the decline in turnover requirement to be eligible for Extension 2
  • If you are eligible, enrol for JobKeeper. Note that businesses already enrolled do not need to re-enrol.
  • Work out eligible Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees and/or eligible business participants. Note, the tiers will remain the same if you have participated in the previous JobKeeper 2.0 extension but at a lower rate.
  • If enrolling for JobKeeper for the first time as a new business, notify the ATO and your eligible employees the payment rate that is applicable to them. Notification to the ATO will form part of the monthly declaration lodged in March 2021.
  • Ensure that the “wage condition” is met by paying eligible employees at least the applicable rate per fortnight. This provides businesses with time to determine their eligibility before making payments to employees.
  • Lodge your monthly business JobKeeper declaration by the 14th day of the month following the month you will be claiming the subsidy.

For further information, please refer to ATO’s guidance on the key dates for the JobKeeper 2.0 Extension 2 and list of upcoming ATO JobKeeper fortnights.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us