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ATO urges action ahead of Monday JobKeeper change


The ATO has urged businesses to get up to speed with the JobKeeper extension, with new eligibility rules and payment rates kicking in from Monday.

By Jotham Lian 12 minute read

From 28 September, eligibility for the JobKeeper program will require an actual decline in GST turnover to be satisfied for the September quarter.

The rates of payment are also set to change, depending on whether an eligible employee worked for 80 hours or more in the four-week reference period before either 1 March or 1 July 2020.

Eligible business participants will also need to identify if they were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in the month of February.


Alternative reference periods are applicable in certain circumstances if the standard reference periods are not suitable.

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran has urged employers currently on JobKeeper to start identifying which payment rates apply to their employees and start notifying them and the Tax Office.

“From Monday, 28 September, employers will need to pay their eligible employees a different rate of JobKeeper, with the rate dependent on the number of hours they work. These rates will change again from Monday, 4 January,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“Although you do not need to re-enrol in JobKeeper, you do need to notify us of your eligible employees and what rate you are paying them as part of your normal payday reporting in October. This can easily be done through Single Touch Payroll.

“Employers will also need to nominate any new employees if they are applying for a JobKeeper payment for them for the first time.”

Mr O’Halloran also noted that businesses will have until 31 October to meet the wage condition and to prepare and submit their actual decline in turnover.

“There are some key dates to keep in mind, and simple steps employers can take now, so they are ready for the changes, but please remember that not everything needs to be done from next week,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“There is also a range of information, fact sheets and videos available from to help and support you in this process. We’re also preparing translated information, which will be available in 16 languages.

“I encourage employers seeking advice on JobKeeper to contact their tax agent or call us on our dedicated help line, 13 10 20.”

ATO’s key dates reminder:

Now: notify your employees about the JobKeeper payment they can expect to receive.

28 September 2020: start paying your eligible employees tier 1 and tier 2 JobKeeper rates based on their hours worked. 

From 28 September: if using Single Touch Payroll to notify us of your eligible employees, provide each eligible employee’s tier as part of your normal payday reporting. Enrol for the JobKeeper payment if you’re doing so for the first time.

Between 1 – 14 October 2020: complete your October JobKeeper monthly business declarations to receive your reimbursement for the September fortnights.

Between 1 – 31 October 2020: prepare and submit your business’s actual decline in turnover to the ATO.

Before 31 October 2020: ensure you meet the wage condition for all eligible employees included in the JobKeeper scheme for the JobKeeper fortnights starting 28 September 2020 and 12 October 2020.

From 1 November 2020: complete your monthly business declaration and confirm what payment tier you are claiming for each employee.

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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