The Latest Situation on JobKeeper
If you are on JobKeeper, you will continue to receive $1500 per fortnight until the 28th of September. After that, your employer will have to retest for eligibility from the Tax Office. They have to show they suffered the necessary decline in revenue, which is 50% for employers with a turnover of more than $1 billion , 30% for employers with a turnover of $1 billion or less and 15% for Australian charities and not for profits. If the employer is eligible, then from 28 September to 3 January 2021 the JobKeeper rate will be $1200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before the first of March 2020 were working in the business for 20 hours or more, on average.
For people who are not working for 20 hours or more in the four weeks before 1 March 2020, their rate is going to decline to $750 a fortnight. From the 4th of January until the 28th of March, the rate will be $1000 for those working 20 hours or more and $650 for those working less than 20 hours a week.
The support rates are going to decline quite a lot, especially for people who might be accustomed to receiving $1500 but are now dropping to $750 or $650.
What you need to do right now is to start planning for the next six months for yourself, or at least beyond the 28th of September. You need to make sure there are really clear communication lines open with your employer around whether or not they anticipate they will continue to be eligible.
- Find payslips in February 2020 to check your average hours.
- Ask your employer if they will be eligible for JobKeeper after 28 September 2020.
- If working more than 20 hours, you will get $1200 until the 3rd of January 2021.
- This will drop to $1000 from the 4th of January to 28th of March.
- If working less than 20 hours, you will get $750 until the 3rd of January 2021
- This will drop to $650 from the 4th of January to 28th of March.
If you are an employee, whether full-time, part-time or potentially an eligible casual employee, make sure you know where you stand in terms of what hours you are working on average.
If you are still in employment right now, you need to retain that employment. The best way is to be consultative with your employer. Try to stay on top of how your employer is going. Find out if they are eligible for JobKeeper or not and how might your job be affected.
Comply with All Reasonable and Lawful Directions
The JobKeeper directions may come in a few forms:
- Stand down with JobKeeper;
- Working your usual hours or more or less hours, subsidised by JobKeeper (remember your hourly rate is guaranteed, you must be paid for all hours you work);
- You might be asked to do different duties or perform work from a different location.
Under the Fair Work Act, those directions were meant to end on the 28th of September. However, we expect that these directions will stay till the 28th of March 2021 subject to legislative change and support.
We were expecting more redundancies to occur on or after the 28th of September. We are still seeing redundancies being made at higher rates. It’s likely to increase over this next period after the 28th of September.
If you are concerned that your job is at risk, tackle that head on and have that direct conversation with your supervisor, team leaders and managers about the ongoing viability of the position.
If you need legal advice specific to your situation, book a phone appointment with us today.