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Fair Work Act amended under JobKeeper 2.0

Fair Work Act amended under JobKeeper 2.0

James Simpson, Adrian Wong and Katherine Southwell outline new legislation which has passed parliament.

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Adrian Wong

Director, KPMG Law

KPMG Australia

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As part of the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Act 2020, a number of new amendments have been made to the Fair Work Act 2009.

The Act passed parliament on 1 September 2020, and received Royal Assent on 3 September 2020.

In summary, these amendments create two tiers of employers, being:

  1. employers who meet (or continue to meet) the criteria to receive JobKeeper payments after 28 September 2020 (Qualifying Employers); and
  2. employers who previously met the criteria under ‘JobKeeper 1.0’ to access JobKeeper payments, but who do not qualify for such payments after 28 September 2020 (Legacy Employers).

For Qualifying Employers, the amendments generally extend the existing rights and obligations that were available under ‘JobKeeper 1.0’ in relation to employees who receive JobKeeper payments (Eligible Employees), for the period until 29 March 2021 (with some minor modifications).

The general payment obligations for Qualifying Employers continue to apply, including that such employers must satisfy the ‘wage condition’ and must meet the ‘minimum payment guarantee’ for each Eligible Employee.

The key differences between the JobKeeper enabling directions available to Qualifying Employers and Legacy Employers are summarised in the attached report.

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