The Morrison Government has announced changes to the eligibility criteria for JobKeeper, following the introduction of tougher restrictions in Victoria.

While the eligibility changes will apply to businesses across the country, the government expects that more than 80% of the increased payments will flow to Victorian businesses and employees.

The key changes to the payment include:

  • A change to the employee reference date: From 03 August, the relevant date of employment for an eligible employee moved from 01 March 2020 to 01 July 2020, meaning that those that were an employee from July 01 (that may not have been employed in March) are now eligible for the payment.
  • A change to the turnover reference period: to be eligible for JobKeeper post-28 September 2020, organisations will only have to demonstrate that their actual turnovers have significantly declined in the previous quarter, rather than the previous two quarters that was initially announced.

These changes will see the cost of JobKeeper increase by $15.6 billion in 2020-21, with the total cost of the program coming to $101.3 billion.

The government expects that around four million Australians will be benefiting from JobKeeper payments at the end of the September quarter.

This is then forecasted to fall to around 2.24 million employees in the December quarter and 1.75 million in the March 2021 quarter.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the easing of JobKeeper eligibility will help support Victorians through this challenging time.

"Already more than 270,000 businesses covering around 975,000 employees in Victoria are being supported by the Morrison Government’s JobKeeper payment.

"To help keep more businesses in business and Australians in jobs through this incredibly challenging period, the Government will ease the eligibility criteria to make it easier for organisations to qualify for the JobKeeper extension from 28 September 2020.

"These change will add to the $15 billion the Morrison Government has already contributed to the Victorian economy through JobKeeper and small business CashFlow boost payments," he said.

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