Simeoni News Update - Alternative JobKeeper tests released

23-Apr-2020

Alternative JobKeeper tests released

The alternative tests for JobKeeper have just been released. You can find the legislative instrument here. The detailed explanatory notes for these tests can be found here.

We will bring you an update on how to apply this as soon as we can - it's complex and there are 7 different scenarios covered by these rules.

In the meantime, the ATO confirms that if an entity is able to pass the basic turnover reduction test then they don't need to consider the alternative tests (i.e., the alternative tests cannot make an entity ineligible for JobKeeper if they have already passed the basic test).

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there is anything in the alternative tests to specifically take service entity arrangements into account.

JobKeeper enrolment extended into May

While the deadline for enrolling in JobKeeper to access payments for the first 2 fortnights was originally the end of April, the ATO now notes, "If you need more time, you have until the end of May to enrol and identify your employees."

However, employers will need to ensure they have paid eligible employees by the end of April to be eligible for April JobKeeper payments for those first 2 fortnights.

Also, enrolling for JobKeeper late is likely to lead to delays in receiving the funds from the ATO.

We will bring you more as we get clarification.

JobKeeper registration issues

Everyone wants to know why the JobKeeper registration only allows you to nominate one month and what the implication of this is.

The ATO has not publicly clarified its position but we understand that if an employer is accessing JobKeeper on the basis of a reduction in turnover for the June 2020 quarter, then they should select April as the turnover reduction month as it is the first month in that quarter. This position could change but this is what we are consistently hearing and have asked the ATO again to clarify this.

The ATO has also noted that the bug in the enrolment process that wouldn't let you show '0' employees has been fixed, which is relevant for those simply nominating an eligible business participant (e.g., director, shareholder, partner, adult beneficiary).

'One in, all in' principle

The ATO has provided some guidance on the 'one in, all in' principle which confirms that employers who want to participate in JobKeeper cannot choose to only nominate some eligible employees.

There was some confusion for a while as to whether an employee could be kept out of the JobKeeper registration if they were receiving less than $1,500 per fortnight, but this seems to have been resolved. Regardless of whether an employee would normally expect to receive at least $1,500 per fortnight, it looks like they are still an eligible employee if the other basic conditions are satisfied. If an employer wants to participate in JobKeeper then they need to make this available to all eligible employees, even those who are not performing any work or would normally expect to receive less than $1,500 per fortnight. However, an employee can choose not to be nominated.

The ATO says: "The design of the JobKeeper scheme is that all eligible employees are paid the minimum of $1500 per fortnight and that the employer claims for each of these employees. Employers are not meant to pick and choose between their eligible employees."


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