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JobKeeper ineligibility limiting take-up: ABS


Ineligibility for the JobKeeper payments is holding businesses back from registering for the wage subsidy, according to a new survey by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

By Jotham Lian 9 minute read

The ABS survey of 2,014 businesses found that just 61 per cent of business had registered or intended to register for the JobKeeper payment scheme.

Of those who did not intend to enrol, 55 per cent said it was because the business was not eligible.

Less than one in 10 attributed their lack of interest in the scheme due to insufficient cash flow to continue paying staff before JobKeeper payments commenced.


The survey, part of the ABS’ attempt to measure the economic impact of COVID-19, comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last Friday that 650,000 businesses had since registered for the JobKeeper scheme.

Over 900,000 businesses had expressed interest in the scheme in the weeks before enrolments began.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has since released a number of amendments that will clarify business eligibility in the wake of the ABS survey, including a modified turnover test for service entities and the alternative turnover tests for certain circumstances.

Further eligibility changes to the JobKeeper scheme are unlikely to come through after Treasury Deputy Secretary Jenny Wilkinson indicated so during a Senate select committee inquiry.

The ATO has also now published its compliance approach to contrived schemes that have been entered into to enable an entity to gain access to the JobKeeper payment or an increased amount of the payment.

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian


Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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