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On Tuesday, 1 September 2020, the Morrison Government passed legislation for the extension of the Jobkeeper wage subsidy for a further six months and subsequent amendments to the Fair Work Act

Jobkeeper 2.0 and legacy employers

  • Jobkeeper 2.0 will continue in two phases from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.
  • There will be two types of employers – ‘eligible employers’ and ‘legacy employers’. The Commissioner of Taxation will retain the discretion to set out alternative tests in particular circumstances.
  • The Fair Work Commission will remain authorised to continue to hear disputes relating to Jobkeeper enabling directions and agreements.

Eligible Employers Phase 1 | 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 (30% decline in turnover in previous quarter)

  • Eligible employers will receive $1,200 or $750 per fortnight for each eligible employee depending on whether their average hours of work exceeded 20 hours per week in the month prior to March 2020 or July 2020.

Jobkeeper Agreements to take annual leave will not continue past 27 September 2020

JobKeeper enabling directions will automatically extend past 27 September 2020.

Eligible Employers Phase 2 | 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

(30% decline in turnover in previous quarter)

  • Eligible employers will receive $1,000 or $650 per fortnight for each eligible employee depending on whether their average hours of work exceeded 20 hours per week in the month prior to March 2020 or July 2020.

Jobkeeper Agreements to take annual leave will not continue past 27 September 2020

JobKeeper enabling directions will automatically extend past 27 September 2020.

Legacy Employers Phase 1 | 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021

(10% decline in turnover in previous quarter – certificate issued by 28 October 2020)

  • Legacy Employers will have the right to issue previously eligible employees with JobKeeper Enabling Directions to change duties, location of work and reduce hours provided that:
  • Their ordinary hours are no less than 60% of their ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020
  • They cannot work less than two hours per day.
  • Legacy employers must provide seven days’ notice before issuing a JobKeeper enabling direction (increased from three days) and are subject to more extensive consultation obligations
  • The changes enable legacy employees to have the ability to appoint a representative for the purposes of consultation in relation to a jobkeeper enabling direction
  • Legacy Employers may reach agreement for an employee to work on different days and at different times so long as their ordinary hours are not reduced and are a minimum 2 hours per day (and the employee cannot unreasonably refuse)

Legacy Employers Phase 2 | 4 January 2021 to 3 January 2021

(10% decline in turnover in previous quarter – certificate issued by 28 February 2021)

  • Legacy Employers will have the right to issue previously eligible employees with JobKeeper Enabling Directions to change duties, location of work and reduce hours provided that:
  • Their ordinary hours are no less than 60% of their ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020
  • They cannot work less than two hours per day.
  • Legacy employers must provide seven days’ notice before issuing a JobKeeper enabling direction (increased from three days) and are subject to more extensive consultation obligations
  • Legacy Employers may reach agreement for an employee to work on different days and at different times so long as their ordinary hours are not reduced and are a minimum 2 hours per day (and the employee cannot unreasonably refuse)

We will be updating our jobkeeper enabling direction and agreement templates in the BetterHR portal shortly.

Should you require any assistance in navigating the new legislation, please contact our BetterHR advisors.