Australian JobKeeper will decrease - but set to continue into 2021

Written by Kadence Edmonds

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Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has recently confirmed that the current JobKeeper payment, first implemented during the COVID-19 lockdown, will continue until March 28, 2021.


From 28 September, a two-tier payment will be introduced which will include a reduced rate for those working less than 20 hours a week. This news came after the Treasury review found a quarter of recipients were receiving more than their pre-COVID wage under the current $1500 fortnightly payment structure.

The new structure from 28 September will see payments from employees who were working more than 20 hours a week on average before 1 March 2020 decrease to $1200 a fortnight until 3 January 2021. The amount will then drop to $1000 from 4 January until the proposed end of JobKeeper, 28 March 2021.

For employees that worked less than 20 hours a week on average prior to 1 March 2020 the payments will decrease to $750 a fortnight from 28 September, with that amount dropping to $650 from 4 January to 28 march 2021.

The treasury report found that the JobKeeper subsidy, “distorts wage relativities between lower- and higher-paid jobs, it dampens incentives to work, it hampers labour mobility and the reallocation of workers to more productive roles, and it keeps businesses afloat that would not be viable without ongoing support.

“There are two groups whose incentives to work or to take on additional hours may have been blunted: part-timers and casuals who have received an increase in income due to the flat-rate payment, and employees who have been stood down.”

Businesses will also need to undergo more extensive eligibility criteria to qualify for continued JobKeeper payments.

“The turnover test would be reapplied on two occasions,” said Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. “Early October and early January to ensure that they still actually require this level of support from the taxpayer.”

Read more on the JobKeeper changes here

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