Parliament has signed off on an extension to the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme, meaning recipients will begin receiving a lower rate at the end of the month.

Parliament has signed off on an extension to the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme, meaning recipients will begin receiving a lower rate at the end of the month.
The payment of $1,500 a fortnight is set to drop and if you are on JobSeeker, you should also expect a decrease in your payments.
Here’s what you need to know:
The JobKeeper rate is dropping and being split in two
The Government argues that at the end of the month it will be time to start weaning Australians and businesses off of the JobKeeper payment.
The law passed today will empower the Government to make payments through until March of next year, but it’s up to the Treasurer to determine the rate and eligibility of the payments.
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From September 28, the payment will fall to $1,200 a fortnight, followed by a further drop at the beginning of January 2021 to $1,000.
But that’s only if you were working at least 20 hours a week before JobKeeper was introduced.
The Government has resisted calls to keep the rate at $1,500 a fortnight.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)
If you were a part-timer, then your payment will fall to $750 a week from the end of the month, then to $650 a week at the start of next year.
All extensions are due to expire on March 28, 2021.
The changes are due to come into effect in less than four weeks’ time, despite the fact Melbourne is currently still under strict lockdown.
The Government estimates that from October onwards, more people will be on JobKeeper in Victoria than in the rest of the country combined.
What about JobSeeker?
Since March, the $550-a-fortnight JobSeeker payment (a rebranded Newstart allowance) has been effectively doubled to about $1,100 a fortnight with the introduction of the coronavirus supplement.
But from September 25, the supplement will fall to $250 a fortnight, taking the total JobSeeker payment to just over $800 a fortnight.
The coronavirus supplement also affects Youth Allowance recipients, Austudy recipients and those who are on some other government payments.
The Government has also moved to reintroduce the liquid assets test for JobSeeker recipients, which means those with substantial savings will be required to wait up to 13 weeks to access payments.
The changes to JobSeeker, which did not have to be legislated by the Government, will continue until December 31, however the Government has signalled support beyond that date is likely.
If you’re an employer, JobKeeper eligibility has changed
In response to the crisis in Victoria, the Government has relaxed the eligibility criteria for JobKeeper, meaning more businesses can apply on behalf of their employees.
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The changes loosen the turnover test, meaning businesses will only have to demonstrate a significant revenue fall in the September quarter, rather than for multiple quarters since the pandemic began.
Employees eligible for the payment from September 28 will also receive more access, with the date they need to have been employed changed by the Government from March 1 to July 1.
The change will give newer employees access to the scheme.
Another change to be introduced in the legislation passed today will see employers who no longer qualify for JobKeeper, but are not yet fully recovered, allowed to take advantage of flexible workplace rules.
That would give them more freedom to stand down employees or reduce their hours.
Labor tried to introduce changes to that part of the law which would ensure no employee would be left worse off than they would be if receiving the JobKeeper payment, but the Government did not agree to the amendments.
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