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JobKeeper rules changed, ATO guidance updated

The JobKeeper 1 July eligibility changes are now in effect, with employers given until the end of the month to satisfy the wage condition.

Tax&Compliance Jotham Lian 17 August 2020
— 2 minute read

Last Friday, the Treasurer registered a legislative instrument bringing into effect the change that would see staff employed by 1 July now eligible for JobKeeper, an extension from the previous 1 March reference date.

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The amendments apply from 3 August, the start of JobKeeper fortnight 10.

ATO guidance now notes that for the fortnights commencing on 3 and 17 August, the Tax Office will provide employers until 31 August to meet the wage condition for all new eligible employees under the 1 July eligibility test.

However, the legislative instrument notes that the JobKeeper employee nomination notice must be provided within seven days of the commencement of the instrument — effectively giving employers until Monday to do so.

While the instrument was registered on 14 August, it commenced on 15 August, affording employers until 22 August to provide the nomination notice. However, 22 August falls on a Saturday, so the law provides that it may be done on the next working day- 24 August, a Monday.

The Tax Institute’s senior advocate, Robyn Jacobson, said business should now consider a range of employees who would now be eligible under the new 1 July eligibility test.

This could include casuals who did not meet the definition of a long-term casual employee by 1 March but have since become long-term casual employees by 1 July, or employees who did not qualify on 1 March due to their age or visa status but have since become 16 or 17 and meet the independence and study conditions, or 18 years, or obtained the necessary visa.

“The one in, all in rule means that any full-time or part-time employee hired between 2 March and 1 July 2020 who meets the age and residency requirements, or casuals who also meet the 12-month condition to be a long-term casual employee, will need to be provided with a nomination notice,” Ms Jacobson said.

“The eligibility of existing employees is preserved if they are already covered by JobKeeper based on the 1 March 2020 reference date. Retesting of their eligibility is not required.

“However, the new rules provide that employers must provide a nomination notice to their employees who are now eligible based on the 1 July 2020 employment test by 21 August 2020. The profession is seeking for the commissioner to allow employers more time to meet this requirement, in line with the extension to the end of August to enrol and meet the wage condition for fortnights 10 and 11.”

Changes to the JobKeeper rules also now allow individuals who have nominated as an eligible employee or eligible business participant with one entity to re-nominate as an eligible employee of another entity in limited circumstances.

To re-nominate, the individual must have ceased their employment or business participation with the first entity before 1 July, and commenced their employment with the new entity by 1 July.

The legislative instrument also notes that separate amendments will soon be released to detail the JobKeeper 2.0 extension and the two tiers of payments beyond 27 September.

View the legislative instrument here, and the ATO’s latest updates here.

The story has now updated to reflect the correct date that the JobKeeper employee nomination must be provided to employees who are now eligible under the 1 July eligibility test date- 24 August.

JobKeeper rules changed, ATO guidance updated
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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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