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Federal Government | New Changes to JobKeeper & JobSeeker Programs

As part of the Federal Government's Press Conference earlier today, Federal Government & Treasury have announced the extension of its COVID-19 economic support programs: JobKeeper & JobSeeker; with new changes taking effect from 28 September 2020.

We've highlighted what's happening post-September 2020 when the current phase of these support packages conclude, and the new changes to be introduced to help continue to support businesses alleviate the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

JobKeeper 2.0 - What's Happening Post-September 2020?

The Federal Government will be extending its JobKeeper payment program under revised provisions until 28 March 2021; investing a further $16 billion in economic support.

Under the revised changes to the program, "JobKeeper 2.0" will contain a two-tier payment scheme - dependent on the number of hours an employee has worked.

Phase One of the "JobKeeper 2.0" program, from 28 September 2020 - 3 January 2021, full-time employees will receive a $1,200 per fortnight payment; whilst part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $750 per fortnight.

Per Phase Two of the new program, from 4 January 2021 - 28 March 2021, full-time employees will receive $1,000 per fortnight; whilst part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $650 per fortnight.

Period of Time

Full-Time Employees

Part-Time Employees

(working less than 20 hours per week)

28 September 2020 - 3 January 2020 $1,200 / Fortnight $750 / Fortnight
4 January 2021 - 28 March 2021 $1,000 / Fortnight $650 / Fortnight

To be eligible to receive the "JobKeeper 2.0" support payment, business will need to continue to demonstrate a 30% or 50% reduction in turnover (dependent of their turnover size: 30% for under $1 billion / 50% for over $1 billion) across the June 2020 & September 2020 Quarters, and into the December 2020 Quarter.

Charities will need to demonstrate a 15% reduction in turnover in these periods.

Additionally, as part of the new program, the previous 'Turnover Test' will be reapplied at two further stages - end of September 2020 and January 2021.

 

JobSeeker 2.0 - What's Happening Post-September 2020?

Under the "JobSeeker 2.0" support program, the Federal Government will be providing a further $3.8 billion to extend the income-support payment supplement until the end of 2020.

Per revised requirements, from 28 September 2020 - 31 December 2020, the fortnightly COVID-19 Income Support Supplement will be $250.

The Government will also be increasing the Income Threshold for individuals on the JobSeeker program to $300, meaning these recipients can earn $300 without it impacting the JobSeeker payment supplement.

Under the "JobSeeker 2.0" program, mutual obligation requirements will recommence from 4 August 2020 - meaning individuals will need to reconnect with Employment Services, and undertake four job-searches per month. From the end of September, these mutual obligation requirements will increase.

The eased eligibility requirements for Sole Traders on the current JobSeeker program will remain in place as part of the "2.o Program", as will waiving of the ordinary waiting period. As part of the "JobSeeker 2.0" program, a newly introduced Asset Test will take effect for eligibility for payments.

Penalties will apply for those who refuse job vacancies.

Further decision on the "JobSeeker 2.0" program may be made in either October's budget or December 2020.

 

COVID-19 SME Guarantee Scheme - Post-September 2020 Program

As announced on Monday, the Federal Government will be extending its 'Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme' - which supports SME businesses to get access to funding they require to adapt & innovate during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the current Scheme, the Government is providing SME businesses with a funding guarantee of 50 per cent of new unsecured loans, in partnership with 44 approved lenders.

As part of the next phase of the Scheme, new keys changes will be introduced, including:

  • Extending the purpose of loans able to be providing beyond Working Capital, such that a wider range of investment can be funded;
  • Permitting secured lending (excluding commercial or residential property);
  • Increasing the maximum loan size to $1 million (from $250,000) per borrower;
  • Increasing the maximum loan term to FIVE years (from three years); and
  • Allowing lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday period.

The initial phase of the Scheme remains available until September, with the second phase commencing on 1 October 2020 and will be made available until 30 June 2021.

For More Information

For more information on how these changes to Federal Government support packages impact you and your business, please contact Ian Walker (Managing Director, Archer Gowland) on (07) 3002 2699.

 

   
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