The Federal Government has announced another Jobkeeper extension. The payment scheme will continue until 28 March 2021.
Options for flexibility for managing workforce costs, such as reducing working hours continue. Employers are no longer allowed to require employees to take annual leave.
The amendments change the eligibility requirements for employers. Two broad categories of employers have been created: those who qualify for the new scheme after 28 September 2020, referred to as ‘qualifying employers’ and those who previously received at least one payment but no longer qualify, referred to as ‘legacy’ employers.
The minimum requirements under this JobKeeper extension remain the same regarding notification and consultation. The By Lawyers example content letters remain available from within the commentary and have been updated where necessary.
Any JobKeeper enabling directions or agreements existing on 27 September 2020 remain valid if the employer continues to qualify for the scheme.
Legacy employers must have received one or more JobKeeper payments in the period prior to 28 September 2020, but have ceased to qualify. They now need to show a 10% decline in current GST turnover for the previous quarter. They must obtain a ‘10% decline in turnover certificate’ from a financial service provider.
Small business employers may choose to make a statutory declaration instead.
Legacy employers have been given access to modified directions and agreements and have extra notice and consultation requirements. Any existing on 27 September 2020 will need to be reissued or new arrangements made. They may not request an employee to work less than 2 hours per day or less than 60% of their ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020.
The By Lawyers example content letters provide for legacy employers.
The Fair Work Commission has the power to deal with disputes relating to legacy employers and satisfaction of the 10% decline in turnover test.
More information on Jobkeeper extension
The JobKeeper section of the By Lawyers Dealing with COVID-19 Legal Issues – Some practical information commentary has been updated. A link to this helpful resource is available at the top of the matter plan in every By Lawyers guide.