as featured in the Farm Weekly issue 20 August 2020
As everyone is now no doubt aware, the current JobKeeper scheme that is in place will finish up at the end of September with final payments to businesses to be made in early October.
Anyone who is already registered and involved with JobKeeper will continue on the current scheme until the end of September. Your current eligibility will not be impacted by any sharp rise in turnover between now and the end of the initial scheme.
At that point JobKeeper, 2.0 will come into effect. The government recently announced the qualifying criteria for JobKeeper 2.0, which were initially quite restrictive. However, with Victoria now succumbing to a second round of COVID 19 and having to deal with the additional lockdown measures, amendments have already been made to this policy.
The main adjustment made has been to the eligibility criteria. The government has effectively opened it up to a lot more businesses by only requiring you to compare your turnover for the current September Quarter against your September Quarter last year.
If you have incurred a 30% drop in turnover, you are potentially eligible.
For farmers, this amendment has great relevance as:
- Anyone who deferred income at the end of 2019 but did not defer to the same levels in 2020 may find themselves eligible.
- With wool prices well down on last year’s levels, some may find that this reduction is enough to qualify them for JobKeeper 2.0
As has previously been reported with JobKeeper 2.0:
- The payment amount is reduced
- There are two different rates based on the hour's people have worked
- The qualification will only be for 3 months, and then you will need to qualify again for the March quarter
- The eligibility criteria has recently been relaxed, which will make it much easier for more businesses to qualify.
Please make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with the new policy and get in contact with your accountant for a more in-depth analysis of your position. This legislation is forever changing (recent changes have actually meant that employees who were previously ineligible on the current scheme may be eligible for the final two months) so make sure you keep asking the question of your accountant.
Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, current at the time of production. Any advice in it has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.