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Fair Work sets out JobKeeper legacy rules for tax agents

Fair Work has released guidance around the 10 per cent decline in turnover test for legacy employers and the rules eligible financial service providers need to follow when providing a turnover certificate.

Fair Work sets out JobKeeper legacy rules for tax agents
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • September 18, 2020
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Following the extension of the JobKeeper payment to 28 March 2021, the government has allowed businesses no longer receiving the wage subsidy to retain the industrial relations flexibility measures, provided they have suffered a 10 per cent drop in revenue in relevant quarters this year compared with last year.

While those remaining on the wage subsidy will still be able to reduce hours to zero, adjust duties or work locations, legacy employers will only be allowed to cut hours to a floor of 60 per cent of an employee’s ordinary hours of work as at 1 March.

According to the Fair Work’s guidance, to satisfy the turnover test a legacy employer needs to demonstrate at least a 10 per cent decline in their actual GST turnover for a relevant previous 2020 completed quarter when compared with the same quarter from 2019. 

Legacy employers need a certificate confirming this from an eligible financial service provider, or they can choose to make a statutory declaration if they are a small business employer, employing less than 15 employees at a particular time. 

In order to use the JobKeeper provisions until 28 March, legacy employers need to have a certificate for the relevant quarters before the start of each period.

Period for JobKeeper direction or agreement

Quarter to meet 10% decline in turnover test 

Comparison quarter 

28 September to 27 October 2020 (inclusive)

June 2020

June 2019

28 October 2020 to 27 February 2021 (inclusive)

September 2020

September 2019

28 February to 28 March 2021 (inclusive)

December 2020

December 2019

Fair Work explained that eligible financial service providers aren’t required to complete an audit or assurance engagement of the employer’s accounts and records in order to issue a certificate.

Instead, they are required to confirm that the test has been met based on the information provided by employers, with penalties for employers who knowingly provide false or misleading information to eligible financial service providers, or knowingly make or keep false or misleading employee records.

The requirements of the 10 per cent decline in turnover certificate are outlined in section 789GDC of the Fair Work Act. To help legacy employers and eligible financial service providers, Fair Work has developed a template certificate that it considers meets the requirements of that section.

The template certificate is available here.

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