COVID-19 Bulletin: The JobKeeper Payment v. 2.0
On 29 June 2020, Treasury reported back to the Federal Government on its three-month review of the JobKeeper Payment (‘JKP’). Based on Treasury’s findings, the Government announced on 21 July 2020 that the JKP would be extended until 28 March 2021 (i.e., for a further six months beyond its original finish date of 27 September 2020).
From 28 September 2020, the JKP will be less generous and access to it will be more limited as businesses will be required to reapply the Decline in Turnover Test.
Under the current law, the Government only has the power to extend JKPs until 31 December 2020. This means the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 will need to be amended. As Parliament does not resume until 24 August 2020, it is not expected that a Bill will be introduced before this time. Fortunately, JobKeeper 2.0 will not apply until the fortnight commencing 28 September 2020 and has no impact on the current JKP regime.
Along with the changes to the JKP, the Government also announced that there would be changes to the JobSeeker Payment and that the Coronavirus Supplement would be extended until 31 December 2020, albeit at a reduced rate.
On 23 July 2020, the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, released an Economic and Fiscal Update which contained further announcements in relation to the Early Access to Superannuation and the Supporting Trainees and Apprentices Measures.
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