JobKeeper Rules – Updated

On the evening of Friday, 1 May, the Treasurer tabled the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payment and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No.2) 2020 (the ‘Amendment Rules’).

Changes to the existing Rules had been foreshadowed, particularly in respect of 16 and 17 year olds. The Amendment Rules give effect to that change – explained below – as well as a number of other amendments that seek to refine the rules surrounding JobKeeper payments. In summary, the Amendment Rules (as relevant to hospitality employers) which have effect from 1 May 2020 do the following:

  • Provide a modified decline in turnover test for certain structures.
  • Include a notification requirement to confirm that all employees of a participating entity must be given the opportunity to agree to be nominated.
  • Impose additional requirements that must be met for children to be eligible nominees.
  • Make various consequential and minor technical amendments.

16 and 17 Year Old Employees

The original Rules (released 9 April) provided that with respect to employee eligibility, an employee must be at least 16 years old to be eligible (subject to satisfying the other criteria).

The Amendment Rules adds to Rule 9(2)(a) with text at (aa)  - highlighted in red - that expands the existing words that “(a) the individual was aged 16 years or over”:

9 Meaning of eligible employee
   (1)  An individual is an eligible employee of an entity for a fortnight if:
(a) the individual is employed by the entity at any time in the fortnight; and
(b) the individual satisfies the requirements in subsections (2) and (3); and
(c) the individual is not excluded from being an eligible employee of the entity for the fortnight under subsections (4).
    1 March 2020 requirements
(2)  The requirements are that, on 1 March 2020;
(a) the individual was aged 16 years or over; and
         (aa) if the individual was aged 16 or 17 years - the individual was;
                          (i)   independent within the meaning of section 1067A of the Social Security Act 1991; or
                          (ii)  not undertaking full-time study (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991);

It will be necessary with the new words at (aa) for employers to determine whether a 16 or 17 year old employee is undertaking full-time study OR is independent having regard to the Social Security Act 1991 (links embedded for quick reference).

As mentioned on the ATO website HERE, this new age based eligibility requirement will only have effect from the next fortnight, being the one commencing on 11 May.

JobKeeper Key Dates

For the information of readers, the ATO has a dedicated page that summarises the key dates relevant to JobKeeper. The page can be found HERE.