Following ACCI’s circular on 11 August 2020 regarding the announced changes to employee eligibility under JobKeeper including the extension of the employment reference date to 1 July 2020, the legislative instrument with respect to such changes has now been registered.
The changes to the reference date have retrospective application and take effect from the JobKeeper fortnights commencing 3 August 2020. The extension of the employment reference date means that an existing JobKeeper employer will need to review their employee records to identify any ‘newly eligible’ employees. Newly eligible employees are in essence, employees who did not satisfy the basic employee eligibility criteria at 1 March 2020 but do satisfy the criteria as amended under the changed rules (including re-qualifying and re-nominating employees).
The explanatory statement to the legislative instrument is clear – the one-in all-in principle applies and employers currently enrolled in JobKeeper do not have a choice as to whether they extend the JobKeeper Payment to newly eligible employees or not. A JobKeeper employer who does not identify newly eligible employees, provide them with a nomination notice by 21 August 2020 and make any necessary ‘top-up’ payments by 31 August 2020 will be in breach of the JobKeeper rules and may face penalties.
The changes, whilst simple in theory, are complex to apply from an administrative perspective and will require careful consideration and application by employers and their advisers.
Due to the imminent nature of these changes and the administrative complexity we have also put together an Information Sheet which provides a high-level summary of the changes with suggested actions to be taken by businesses to make sure they meet a number of upcoming deadlines and do not fall foul of the JobKeeper rules and face penalties.