Stage 4 Lockdown: Updates to JobKeeper, JobSeeker & the Victorian Business Support Fund.

Stage 4 Lockdown

The latest Stage 4 Lockdown in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire has had a huge instant impact on businesses and many have been forced into hibernation.  Employees have also been stood down or have seen their hours drastically reduced.

Even if you or your business was not previously eligible for many of the government rescue packages, you may now find yourself in a very different position.  In response to the latest stage 4 restrictions, both the federal and Victorian state governments have announced changes to the various measures available.

JobKeeper Extension

The existing JobKeeper scheme is still in place until 27 September 2020.  You can register at any stage if your business has experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% (50% for businesses with a turnover exceeding $1 billion).

Payments of $1,500 are available for sole traders, business participants and employees.   The federal government has recently announced increased eligibility to allow access for individuals that are on the books as at 1 July 2020.

This means that employees who were hired between 2 March and 1 July 2020 could now be eligible for JobKeeper along with casuals who have been employed for at least 12 months on 1 July 2020.

JobKeeper has also been extended to 28 March 2021 on a reduced basis. 

28th September 2020 – 3rd January 2021

  • $1,200 per fortnight for individuals that are engaged for at least 20 hours per week.
  • $750 per fortnight for individuals that are engaged for less than 20 hours per week.

4th January 2021 – 28 March 2021

  • $1,000 per fortnight for individuals that are engaged for at least 20 hours per week.
  • $650 per fortnight for individuals that are engaged for less than 20 hours per week.

To be eligible for the December 2020 & March 2021 quarters, businesses will need to re-qualify using the decline in turnover test each quarter as follows:

  • December 2020 quarter (satisfy decline in turnover test in September 2020 quarter).
  • March 2021 quarter (satisfy decline in turnover test in December 2020 quarter).

Victorian Business Support Fund – Expansion

Applications are now open for further grants to support businesses.

  • $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire (formerly $5,000).
  • $5,000 for employing businesses in all other areas of Victoria.

The eligibility requirements are:

  1. operate a business in one of the locations subject to the Stage 3 restrictions.
  2. Be part of the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme.
  3. Employ people and be registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020.
  4. Have an annual payroll of less than $3 million.
  5. Be registered for GST on 30 June 2020.
  6. Hold an ABN at 30 June 2020.

Please note that if you are eligible for $10,000 of support and you have already applied for $5,000, you will automatically receive the additional funds.

Applications close 14 September 2020 and can be made using the link below.


If you are not eligible for JobKeeper and have been stood down or had your hours reduced, you may be eligible for JobSeeker payments through Centrelinkn of up to $1,100 per fortnight.

From the start of the pandemic, the eligibility requirements for JobSeeker have been eased including:

  • Income test changes increasing the income free area to $300 per fortnight.
  • Asset tests waived.
  • Partner income tests increased to $3,086.11 before your payment reduces to zero.
  • Waiting periods waived.

Please contact me if you need assistance in navigating the complex system of government assistance.  I understand this is an incredibly stressful time for everyone and I am more than happy to help.  Stay safe and well.

Further information can also be found using the following links:


Victorian Business Support Fund


JHL Accounting also has numerous articles associated with the Stimulus Package that was introduced by the Federal Government. Read more:

Coronavirus Stimulus Package
coronavirus stimulus package part 2

If you have any questions regarding JobKeeper, JobSeeker or the Victorian Business Support Fund please contact JHL Accounting.

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