A while back, we talked about the government’s JobKeeper program, explaining how it worked, how it would help you keep your staff on throughout the COVID-19 shutdown and what your business would need to do to qualify for it.
While it was originally planned to end by the 27th of September, Victoria’s second wave and continued economic weakness have thrown a spanner in the works!
Because of this, it was announced in July that JobKeeper would be extended until the 28th of March next year.
If you were worried about keeping your staff on without support, you can breathe easier!
So, why are our bookkeepers in Melbourne bringing it up once again?
Because this time, there are a couple of differences. While you may have heard about the extension on the news, what you might be a little less familiar with are the details…
So, what’s new with JobKeeper 2.0?
While there are many minor changes to the new and revised JobKeeper, we’re going to start with what’s easily one of the most controversial ones: namely, the revised payments.
If you’ve followed the news recently, you’ll know that the Federal Government intends on reducing the amount paid out per employee, bringing it down from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight.
And that’s for the October-December quarter – come Q1 2021, it’ll be reduced even further to $1,000 per employee.
Different payment rates depending on hours worked
Unlike the previous scheme where all eligible employees received the full amount regardless of hours worked, now payments will be scaled depending on hours.
Long story short, part-timers and casuals may get a smaller payout depending on how many hours they work:
|October – December||January – March|
|More than 20hrs worked per week||$1,200 p/fortnight||$1,000 p/fortnight|
|Less than 20hrs worked per week||$750 p/fortnight||$650 p/fortnight|
We aren’t here to make a judgement as to whether or not this is the right call – we’re bookkeepers, not economists.
Needless to say, both of these are some of the more controversial changes!
As with the first incarnation of the scheme, the amounts are still pre-tax, and you’ll still need to make super contributions and make up the difference yourself if JobKeeper doesn’t completely cover an employee’s regular salary.
Other JobKeeper changes
While the reduced JobKeeper payments have dominated headlines, that isn’t the only way that JobKeeper has changed.
As part of the extension, the federal government has made a host of other changes to JobKeeper.
Thankfully, most of them are pretty minor – that said however, we recommend reading on anyway to make sure that you’re up-to-date!
You’ll need to reapply for JobKeeper
One of the things that’s changed with the JobKeeper extension is the eligibility criteria. And that means reassessing and filing a new JobKeeper application.
As part of your new application, you’ll need to provide actual turnover for the quarter just passed (something that our bookkeepers in Melbourne can help with).
And not just that quarter, either – unlike JobKeeper in its current form, the “new” JobKeeper requires another reapplication for the January-March quarter.
New cut-off dates mean more employees are eligible
Before, only employees who were on the books as of March 1, 2020 were eligible for JobKeeper, leaving out a lot of more recent hires.
With a new cut-off date of July 1 2020, JobKeeper now applies to more employees than before, including team members who weren’t eligible before.
When registering employees for JobSeeker, you’ll need to provide time sheets for the two fortnights immediately before the cut-off date, with the higher number of hours used to determine which payment tier they’ll fall into.
What about new applicants?
While it’s labelled as an “extension”, new applications are more than welcome!
Perhaps you hadn’t suffered that big of a loss under the first round of business closures – alternatively, perhaps you simply missed the news and weren’t able to register your business for JobKeeper the first time around.
Either way the result is the same: you didn’t get on JobKeeper.
Luckily, the new and extended JobKeeper is open to new applicants!
How our bookkeeping service in Melbourne can help
Just as with before, our team is more than happy to help you apply for the new and extended version of JobKeeper!
Whether you’re applying for the first time or reassessing, there are a couple of things you’ll need to submit as part of your application:
All of these are pretty important parts of your JobKeeper application or application – and unfortunately, not all business owners have the time – or the expertise – needed to sort them out.
Thankfully, that’s something our team of small business bookkeepers in Melbourne can help you with.
Whether it’s tidying up your financial information so that you’ve got everything you need for an application or you simply want to tidy up your bookkeeping so that you have a better idea of how the pandemic is affecting you, we can help.
And not just with your JobKeeper applications, either!
If there’s one thing this whole business has revealed, it’s the importance of your business’ finances – especially your cash flow and record-keeping.
With a range of services, from one-offs to comprehensive top-to-bottom bookkeeping account clean-ups, our bookkeepers give you the information you need to get through these trying times.