Last week, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into Parliament and is currently before the Senate.
The Bill extends the current time limit on payment rules authorised by the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020 so that the JobKeeper Scheme can be extended to 28 March 2021. It also amends the tax secrecy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to allow protected information relating to the JobKeeper scheme to be disclosed to an Australian government agency for the purposes of the administration of an Australian law.
To keep in line with the extended end date of the JobKeeper scheme, the Bill also amends the Fair Work Act 2009 to extend the operation of the temporary JobKeeper provisions, which allow employers to vary working arrangements of employees receiving JobKeeper payments, until 28 March 2021. It also amends the Fair Work Act by creating two categories of employers who can access the flexibilities under the JobKeeper provisions from 28 September 2020.
- employers who are eligible for JobKeeper payments after 28 September 2020 (qualifying employers), and
- employers who did receive one or more JobKeeper payments in the period prior to 28 September 2020, but no longer qualify for a payment after 28 September 2020 (legacy employers).
Legacy employers who have a certificate from an independent financial service provider stating they have experienced a 10% decline in turnover will have access to modified flexibility measures from 28 September 2020. Small business employers are exempted from obtaining the certificate.
Progress of bill
Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020