Further changes to the JobKeeper scheme

By Veronica Siow, Astrid Reidy
Employment & Safety

In brief 3 min read

This article provides an update to our recent Insight in relation to the extended JobKeeper scheme.

The temporary amendments that were introduced to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) in relation to JobKeeper enabling directions will be extended until 28 March 2021, by a bill proposed by the Federal Government that has now been passed by Parliament.1

'Legacy employers' moving into the second phase of JobKeeper

Under the new bill, employers that remain eligible for the extended JobKeeper subsidy will retain access to the existing flexibilities that were introduced to the Act. Employers that are unable to requalify for the JobKeeper subsidy ('legacy employers') will have access to a revised version of those flexibility measures. Legacy employers will not be entitled to receive JobKeeper payments but will be able to issue JobKeeper enabling directions, subject to certain restrictions. If a legacy employer issues a JobKeeper enabling direction it must:

  • ensure an employee's hours are not reduced below 60% of their ordinary work hours;
  • not reduce any shifts to less than two hours; and
  • provide an employee with seven days' written notice of changes to their employment.

Legacy employers will need to demonstrate a 10% decline in revenue during the 2020 quarters as against the 2019 comparator quarters. Until the expiry of the scheme in March, there will be three periods during which an employer will need to meet the 10% decline test in order for it to issue valid JobKeeper enabling directions, summarised below:


2020-2021 QUARTERS



28 September 2020 – 27 October 2020

April, May and June 2019


28 October 2020 – 27 February 2021

July, August and September 2019


28 February 2021 – 28 March 2021

October, November and December 2019


The bill introduces harsh penalties to deter employers from knowingly or recklessly manipulating the provisions, or providing false or misleading information. A corporation may face a penalty of up to $66,600, while individuals face $13,200.00.

Next steps

For further information on these changes or help in understanding how they might impact your business, please contact Simon Dewberry, Veronica Siow or Sikeli Ratu.


  1. Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020.