There was plenty of uncertainty around whether JobKeeper would get the flick in late September. However, ScoMo has announced that the fortnightly subsidy will stick around at least a little while longer.

Although the scheme will continue, the fortnightly payment amounts will be phased down over six months from JobKeeper's initial end date on 28 September.

From 28 September 2020, employees who were working 20 hours or more per week prepandemic will receive $1,200 per fortnight. This will then reduce to $1,000 per fortnight from 3 January 2021. Employees who were working less than 20 hours per week pre-pandemic will receive $750 per fortnight as the scheme phases down, then reducing to $650 per fortnight from 3 January 2021.

Employer eligibility will also be reassessed at each stage of the phase-down. From 28 September 2020, an employer's eligibility will depend on whether the business experienced a 30% reduction in turnover (or 50% reduction for a business with over $1 billion in turnover) in the June quarter (April, May and June) and the September quarter (July, August, September), compared to last year. Eligibility will be again reassessed from 3 January 2021 based on the relevant revenue decline test with reference to the previous three quarters, adding in the December quarter (October, November, December).

The Morrison Government has been criticised for not expanding employee eligibility requirements of the scheme to include casual workers who have been employed for less than 12 months or workers on visas. However, despite the extension of JobKeeper, employee eligibility requirements remain the same.

There's still no word on whether JobKeeper will actually end after phase two concludes on 28 March 2021 but we will be sure to keep you in the loop.

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