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JobSaver Fortnightly Eligibility Retest

Important JobSaver and the Micro-Business Update

 

Even though professional accounting bodies engaged closely with the NSW government to consider workarounds for this new JobSaver fortnightly eligibility retest, it is clear that the NSW government is not going to back down from its new reporting policy.

In saying that, Service NSW continued to pay September payments without the need for businesses to reconfirm their eligibility, with payments only ceasing if reconfirmation is not provided from October onwards.

Service NSW has also clarified that JobSaver recipients must re-confirm their eligibility for the fortnight starting September 13 to September 26.

Businesses that don’t re-confirm their eligibility for that fortnight will still receive their payment, but they won’t be able re-confirm their eligibility going forward. The NSW government has indicated it may seek to recover any JobSaver overpayments that are inadvertently made to ineligible businesses.

For the micro business grants, businesses will be required to re-confirm eligibility for the fortnight between September 20 and October 3.

What should you do now?

If your business currently receives payments under the NSW JobSaver or Micro-business Grant schemes, you will now need to reconfirm your eligibility each fortnight to continue receiving payments. The person that submitted the initial application is required to submit the reconfirmation of eligibility.

What needs to be confirmed?

Each fortnight, your business will need to reconfirm that it:
•    Continues to experience a decline in turnover of 30% or more; and
•    Has maintained employee headcount stated in the application. Note that if your headcount changes, you are obliged to notify Service NSW.

Measuring decline in turnover

There are two main approaches to validate your decline in turnover depending on whether the business has traded during the relevant fortnight:

If your business was not trading during the relevant fortnight

There is no requirement to perform a decline in turnover calculation. You can simply select ‘yes’ on the confirmation screen to indicate that your business has continued to experience a decline in turnover of at least 30%.

If your business was trading during the relevant fortnight

You will need to determine if your business continues to meet the 30% or more decline in turnover eligibility criteria.

There are three potential methods you can use but whichever method you use, you will need to use the same method for each subsequent fortnight.

Method 1 – 2019 or 2020 comparison period using testing period fortnight

If your initial comparison period was in 2019 or 2020, then you can use the same year but adjust the comparison period to match the current fortnight being tested.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period is 13 September to 26 September 2019.

 Test period                   Comparison period
Application:    26 July – 8 Aug 2021        26 July – 8 Aug 2019
Retesting:      13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021    13 Sept – 26 Sept 2019

 (You cannot use 13 September to 26 September 2020 as your comparison period in this example). 

Method 2 – 2019 or 2020 comparison period using original testing period

If the initial comparison period was in 2019 or 2020, then you can use the same year and comparison period that you used in your original application.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 26 July to 8 August 2019. This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.

Test period                    Comparison period
Application:    26 July – 8 Aug 2021         26 July – 8 Aug 2019
Retesting:      13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021     26 July – 8 Aug 2019

Method 3 – 12 June to 25 June 2021 comparison period

If 12 June to 25 June 2021 was used as your initial comparison period, then you must use the same period as your initial application when reconfirming eligibility.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 12 June to 25 June 2021, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 12 June to 25 June 2021. This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.

Test period                     Comparison period
Application:    26 July – 8 Aug 2021          12 June – 25 June 2021
Retesting:      13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021      12 June – 25 June 2021

No further documentation required

ServiceNSW states that you will not need to provide any additional evidence or attach any documentation when reconfirming your eligibility. However, it is essential that you maintain adequate records to show evidence of your eligibility in the event of an audit.

FAQs

I had a three week comparison period. How do I do the comparison?

If the comparison period used in your initial application was more than 2 weeks (for example, a 3 week period), the turnover amount for the comparison period must be converted to a fortnightly amount for comparison purposes to the current turnover by dividing by the number of days in the period and multiplying by 14.

What happens if the business is ineligible one fortnight but eligible the next?

The reconfirmation only tests the relevant fortnight. Becoming ineligible for one fortnight does not disqualify your business from becoming eligible again in a future period. Some businesses may be eligible one fortnight and not eligible the next if their decline in turnover decreases again.

Can I delay confirming eligibility?

Yes, but your business will not receive payment until confirmation of eligibility has been received. Some businesses might prefer to wait until month-end accounting records are finalised to confirm eligibility. ServiceNSW states that payments will be made within 5 days of your business reconfirming its eligibility.

The Service NSW site is asking me to fill in information for the fortnight between 30th August & 12th September? Is this compulsory? 

Yes, this is compulsory. You will need to measure your revenue for the 30% drop and the employee headcount. Fill in the information as required.

What if my business did not meet the 30% revenue drop for either of the last 2 fortnights, but we have already received the JobSaver payments?

Fill in the eligibility criteria on your Service NSW account for those 2 fortnights.
Even though there was a ‘grace period’ provided for the fortnight starting 30th August 2021, if you did not meet the eligibility criteria, Service NSW has advised (us over the phone), that a reconciliation will be done at the end of the JobSaver scheme, and the overpaid monies will need to be repaid. Their honest answer is that they weren’t really sure what will happen in this situation, but we recommend that you DO NOT spend the money. Save it, in case you need to pay it back!

Reconfirming headcount

Your employee headcount was noted on your original application. This was the number of people you employed in NSW including full time, part time and long-term casuals that had been employed by the business for more than 12 months at the time of the application.

JobSaver requires your business to maintain this same headcount to qualify to receive payments unless the employee is no longer employed due to circumstances outside of your control, such as resignation, death or where you have fairly terminated the employee because of misconduct.

If your full time, part time or long-term casual employees, have been stood down, they are still included in the headcount. During a stand down the employment relationship remains (their role has not been terminated), the employee is not paid (unless they are taking paid leave), and they continue to accrue annual leave. See the FairWork website to clarify how and when an employer can stand down employees and the documentation requirements.

What do I do if I no longer need the assistance?

Log into your ServiceNSW business profile and request a withdrawal.
Some of the details for the grants are not yet available. We will keep you up to date.

What will Clear Path Accounting’s fee be?

Due to the work involved in these calculations, the fee for this assistance is:

  • $100 plus GST per fortnightly calculation performed, or
  • $650 plus GST for all 7 fortnightly reporting periods till JobSaver ends
    (i.e. between 30th August 2021 & 30th November 2021).

We understand the frustration this may cause however, for us to perform our role properly as professional accountants we’ve got to exercise due care and due caution and due diligence, which takes time, expertise, and resources.

Please contact us should you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support you.
If you require us to do these calculations for you, just send us an email so we can get started.

Many thanks.

P.S We understand there are more changes coming to JobSaver (announced yesterday).
We will keep you updated.