I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 2nd September.
As we discussed on 7th August, changes were announced for JobKeeper extension and have now passed through parliament into legislation. The new provisions will come into effect from 28th September and will be in place until 28th March 2021.
Today I want to cover off on the Fair Work employment provisions allowed under JobKeeper extension. This is different from the JobKeeper payments that many clients have been receiving.
From 28th September, businesses will fall into one of three categories:
1. JobKeeper Extension Participant
You will be eligible for JobKeeper extension if your actual turnover for the September 2020 quarter (July/Aug/September) has declined by at least 30% compared to the same quarter last year. (Note: we’re still waiting on confirmation of how the alternative test will be applied, so some of you may still be eligible.)
These businesses will receive JobKeeper (at the reduced rates) and will continue to be entitled to use all of the Fair Work JobKeeper enabled directions in their current form. The exception is that you can no longer agree with your employee to draw down on their annual leave.
Any JobKeeper enabling directions you already have in place can continue while your business qualifies for JobKeeper extension.
See the Fair Work website for JobKeeper extension here: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/pay-and-leave-during-coronavirus/jobkeeper-wage-subsidy-scheme/extension-of-jobkeeper-provisions-in-the-fair-work-act#extension-of-the-fair-work-act-jobkeeper-provisions
2. Legacy employers
You will be in this category if you were in JobKeeper but your actual turnover for the September 2020 quarter has declined between 10% – 30% compared to the same quarter last year.
Legacy employers will need to have a certificate from an eligible financial service provider, or a statutory declaration for small businesses (less than 15 employees) confirming the 10% decline in turnover.
As a legacy employer, you won’t get JobKeeper payments but you will be able to give directions to your employees who you were getting JobKeeper for, using an amended set of Fair Work provisions.
That means you will still have flexibility to manage your workforce by giving your employees JobKeeper enabled directions (including reduction in hours, change in duties or change in location) but there are new rules:
• Your employee’s hours can’t be reduced below 60% of their ordinary hours as at 1 March 2020; and
• Your employee must be provided with at least two hours work on any day they are required to work; and
• You must provide your employee with seven days’ notice of the direction.
• You can no longer direct your employee to draw down on their annual leave.
Note that any previous JobKeeper enabling directions you have given will no longer apply – see this excerpt from Fair Work:
We expect more detail to come out regarding the legacy employees over the coming days and weeks. Here’s the information that is currently available on the Fair Work website: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/pay-and-leave-during-coronavirus/jobkeeper-wage-subsidy-scheme/extension-of-jobkeeper-provisions-in-the-fair-work-act#legacy-employers-jobkeeper-directions-and-agreements
3. Recovered business
Your business will be considered “recovered” if your actual turnover for the September 2020 quarter has increased, remained stable, or has declined by less than 10% compared to the same quarter last year.
For recovered businesses, any JobKeeper enabled directions you had put in place (such as reduced hours or change in duties) will no longer apply from 28th September, and you will not be able to make further JobKeeper enabled directions. If you need to make changes to the normal (i.e. pre-COVID) working arrangements with your employees, you’ll need to do so under the standard Fair Work rules and, where applicable, the relevant employment award.
Whether your business is in the category of recovered, legacy or in JobKeeper extension, there will most likely be changes to your workforce planning. Your coach will be working with you to update your models and your plans for the next period.
I’m proud to share some good news with you about Tenfold. The Global Business Coaching conference is held each year to share knowledge and to recognise outstanding performance across the 800+ coaches in our worldwide network.
At this year’s conference (which was held remotely), Tenfold Business Coaching was awarded Global Coaching Firm of The Year. This accolade is in recognition of the market leading strategies Tenfold uses to get results for our clients.
Across the global network, other coaches are striving to replicate what we’re doing with the models we have developed such as our Speed To Results plans, and Big Picture plans.
It’s a great honour to receive the award for the work we do for our clients, especially as this is our third consecutive win at the global level.
Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Tenfold Business Coaching