Jobkeeper- alternative test rules released

April 24, 2020

The Commissioner has registered Legislative Instrument Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test Rules 2020. The rules provide alternative bases for a class of entities to satisfy the decline in turnover test for the purposes of seeking to be a qualifying employer for JobKeeper payments, when the Commissioner is satisfied that there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period.

The explanatory statement explains that the Commissioner cannot determine an alternative decline in turnover test in all circumstances. It is only in those circumstances where there is an event or circumstance, be it internal or external to an entity, that is outside the usual business setting for entities of that class which results in the relevant comparison period in 2019 not being appropriate for the purpose of an entity in the class of entities satisfying the decline in turnover test.

Alternative tests are prescribed and are available for:
-business commenced
-business acquisition or disposal that changed the entity’s turnover
-business restructure that changed the entity’s turnover
-business had substantial increase in turnover
-business affected by drought or natural disaster
-business has an irregular turnover
-sole trader or small partnership with sickness, injury or leave.

Note that if an entity satisfies the basic test, there is no requirement to consider alternative tests. Entities who can apply multiple alternative tests will be eligible for JobKeeper (subject to other requirements) if they satisfy one of the alternative tests.