JobKeeper Payment wage subsidy

On 21 July the Government announced an extension of JobKeeper and on 7 August announced further changes

The original JobKeeper scheme announced on 30 March and in operation until 27 September paid eligible employers (and self-employed people) up to $1500 per fortnight per employee for up to six months.

The extended scheme operates until 28 March 2021 and includes

  • new payment rates that reduce in two steps
  • a requirement for employers and self-employed people to re-apply in September 2020 and January 2021

The new payment rates

The payment will decrease in two steps on 28 September 2020 and 4 January 2021.

In addition to the stepped decrease, there are now two payment rates. These are determined by the number of hours per week the employee or self-employed person worked in February 2020.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rates will be

  • $1200 per fortnight for all eligible employees and self-employed people who worked 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks before 1 March 2020
  • $750 per fortnight for all eligible employees and self-employed people who worked less than 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks before 1 March 2020

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rates will be

  • $1000 per fortnight for all eligible employees and self-employed people who worked 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks before 1 March 2020
  • $650 per fortnight for all eligible employees and self-employed people who worked less than 20 hours or more per week on average in the four weeks before 1 March 2020

Business eligibility

As announced on 7 August, to be eligible for JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, employers and self-employed people will need to pass the decline in turnover test for the September quarter (July, August and September 2020).

To be eligible for JobKeeper from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, employers and self-employed people will need to pass the decline in turnover test for the December quarter (October, November and December 2020).

The decline in turnover must be relative to a comparable period of time, which will usually be the corresponding quarters in 2019. Business with an annual turnover under $1 billion and revenue must show a fall of more than 30 per cent, and those with an annual turnover over $1 billion and revenue must show fall of more than 50 per cent.

Businesses not previously in JobKeeper can participate in the extended version of the scheme provided they pass the eligibility tests.

Employees eligibility

With the change announced on 7 August, employees are eligible if

  • they were employed on 1 July 2020 (including employees stood down and re-hired since then)
  • they are full-time, part-time or long-term casuals (casuals employed on a regular basis for more than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
  • are at least 16 years old
  • they are Australian citizens or meet certain visa criteria
  • are not receiving JobKeeper Payment from another employer

Businesses without employees

Businesses without employees (e.g. self-employed sole traders) may apply if they can provide an ABN, Tax File Number and a declaration about recent business activity.

How to apply for JobKeeper

For more information

Current Australian Government fact sheets and other official information

Detailed legal guide (relevant to the original scheme)

WA State system COVID-19 JobKeeper provisions for sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, and unincorporated trusts.

A General Order by the WA Industrial Relations Commission introduced temporary JobKeeper provisions that cover sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, and unincorporated trusts. These provisions will last until 28 September and may be extended. They apply to employers who have qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees. They allow employers to give certain directions to employees and make agreements with employees to change their days and times of work. Employers must comply with a number of specific requirements.