Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has now released details of the modified decline in turnover test for employer entities, and clarified the intention of the “one in, all in” feature of the JobKeeper scheme.
Modified turnover test, ‘one in, all in’ amendments released
Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020 has now been registered.
The legislative instrument, released late on Friday, now sets out a modified decline in turnover test for circumstances where the entity is an employer that operates in a group structure.
These employer entities provide the services of employees to other members of the group and do not typically have significant dealings outside the group and their turnover may not reflect the overall performance of the group.
As a result, even where there has been a significant decline in the turnover of the entities in the group, the JobKeeper payment may not be available to the employer entity.
Employer entities will have to satisfy certain conditions, including supplying other members of the group with services as its principal activity.
The modifications to the basic test include using the projected GST turnovers for the turnover test period of each of the members of the group it supplies labour to (test member), instead of the employer entity’s projected GST turnover.
Likewise, the sum of the current GST turnovers for a relevant comparison period of each test member is to be used, instead of the employer entity’s current GST turnover.
The modified test will also deal with circumstances in which the alternative decline in turnover test applies.
An employer entity can be a member of a consolidated group, a consolidatable group or a GST group and satisfy the modified test in relation to its membership of any of those groups.
‘One in, all in’
The amendment rules also sets out an obligation for entities to provide an employee nomination notice to each of their employees within seven days of enrolling to receive JobKeeper payments.
This “critical feature” of the JobKeeper scheme ensures that all employees are provided with the opportunity to advise the employer that they agree to be nominated, before the employer then notifies the Commissioner of Taxation of all eligible employees that have been nominated.
The ATO has now advised that employers who enrolled on or before 1 May will now need to satisfy the requirement by 8 May.
“The government’s intention is that all employees of an entity are given the opportunity to agree to be nominated for the purposes of the entity’s participation in the JobKeeper scheme,” the explanatory statement said.
“This is consistent with the ‘one in, all in’ operation of the scheme.”
ATO guidance on the requirement notes that employers “are not meant to pick and choose between their eligible employees”.
“If your eligible employees agree to be nominated by you, they must do so by completing the JobKeeper employee nomination notice and returning it to you for your records,” the ATO said.
“The employee nomination notice does not need to be provided to the ATO; however, employers are required to keep a copy of the completed form as part of their record-keeping obligations under the law.”
Eligible business participants — such as a partner, adult beneficiary of a trust, or a shareholder in or director of a company — will need to complete the eligible business participant nomination notice to record that they have agreed to be nominated to receive JobKeeper payments through an eligible business.