Update on JobKeeper Payment Processing

Into Exo, Advanced Knowhow / 02 October 2020

Update on JobKeeper Payment Processing

Employers who are finishing, continuing or starting JobKeeper Payments should act now to update their payroll processing from 28 September 2020. The JobKeeper Payment scheme has been extended in two periods, each separated into two payment tiers.

Jobkeeper Payment Tier

Quarter 3:

7 fortnights from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021

Quarter 4:

6 fortnights from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

Tier 1:  80+ Hours in their 28-day Reference Period $1,200 per fortnight $1,000 per fortnight
Tier 2: <80 Hours in their 28-day Reference Period $750 per fortnight $650 per fortnight

This handy ATO infographic summarises the key changes, and more detailed information is available at ato.gov.au/jobkeeper

MYOB has updated its JobKeeper Payment Whitepapers for MYOB Advanced People and MYOB Exo Employer Services to include the details of how to process pay items for JobKeeper Payment purposes.  These cloud and on-premise payroll solutions are STP enabled which streamlines your JobKeeper reporting processes. BusinessHub supports clients with processing JobKeeper Payments and associated STP reporting, but we do not provide accounting, tax or legal advice.  Please refer to the ATO or your accountant for JobKeeper eligibility information and advice.

Key points about payment tiers from the ATO JobKeeper page include:

  • Each employee's 28-day reference period(s) is based on when their pay cycle ends, so it won’t be the same for all employers or employees and an alternative reference period can apply in some circumstances.
  • Hours includes the actual hours worked, hours on paid leave and hours paid for a public holiday.
  • A full-time employee who has been employed for their full 28-day reference period will usually satisfy the 80-hour threshold. Closer examination may be required for eligible employees that are part-time, long-term casuals, not paid on an hourly basis or stood down.
  • Your employee only needs to satisfy the 80-hour threshold in one of the 28-day reference periods. If they satisfy it in one reference period, you do not need to determine if they satisfy it in other reference periods.
  • If your pay cycle is longer than 28 days for your employees (for example monthly), you will need to perform a pro-rata calculation.

Finished JobKeeper on 27 September 2020?
For employers who received JobKeeper Payments for their employees under the original JobKeeper scheme but who are not eligible to continue beyond 27 September 2020, you do not need to do anything further from 28 September 2020.

  • JobKeeper top-up payments are no longer required for the period commencing on 28 September 2020.
  • You do not need to process JobKeeper finish codes if your employees finished JobKeeper Payments on 27 September 2020.
  • You do not need to consider whether your eligible employees are in Tier 1 or 2, as these tiers are only applicable from 28 September 2020.

Continuing JobKeeper from 28 September 2020?
For employers who received JobKeeper Payments for their employees under the original JobKeeper scheme ending on 27 September 2020 and who are continuing in the scheme:

  • Work out if each of your eligible employees are in Tier 1 or Tier 2. They will be in Tier 1 if they meet the 80-hour threshold for the 28-day reference period finishing on the last day of the last pay cycle that ended before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
  • Notify the ATO which tier your eligible employees are in by processing a one-off pay with either a JK-TIER1 or JK-TIER2 pay item for each employee, depending on which tier applies to them. 
  • Calculate whether your eligible employees require a JobKeeper top-up payment based on the new JobKeeper payment rates and (if required) make those payments by adding the JOBKEEPER-TOPUP pay item to their usual pay run. If your employee earns more than the applicable JobKeeper payment rate, nothing more needs to be done - continue to process pays for the employee as normal.
  • If your employee becomes ineligible for the JobKeeper payment before 28 March 2021, you will need to process a pay for that employee that includes the appropriate JK-FI-FN** pay item, specifying the JobKeeper fortnight in which they finished.  Note that the new JobKeeper start and finish descriptions for the JobKeeper extension period are shorter than the descriptions for the original JobKeeper period ending on 27 September 2020.

Refer to the relevant MYOB Whitepaper for full details.

Starting JobKeeper from 28 September 2020?
For employers who intend to enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on or after 28 September 2020 but have not previously been enrolled in JobKeeper, you will need to:

  • Enrol in JobKeeper with the ATO, which includes satisfying the applicable decline in turnover test, applying for the JobKeeper Payment and submitting a monthly business declaration to the ATO, providing your current bank details to the ATO so it can pay your JobKeeper reimbursements, and ensuring that your eligible employees have completed a nomination notice. BusinessHub does not provide accounting or legal advice, so please contact your accountant or other appropriate advisor for assistance with these matters.
  • Notify the ATO which of your employees are eligible for JobKeeper Payments by processing a JobKeeper JK-ST-FN** start allowance pay item that specifies the fortnight in which the employee starts in the JobKeeper Payment scheme. Note that the new start descriptions are shorter than under the original JobKeeper scheme.
  • Also complete the 4 steps set out above for those continuing in JobKeeper.

Refer to the relevant MYOB Whitepaper for full details.

Down to the Nitty Gritty

For all the detail on how to complete each of these steps, as well as a list of the JobKeeper pay item descriptions for each JobKeeper fortnight, refer to MYOB's JobKeeper Payments for MYOB Advanced People or MYOB Exo Employer Services (as applicable). 

For quick reference, the following table below sets out:

The ATO website recommends allowing up to 3 days for your STP reported data to be processed by the ATO before making your monthly Business Declaration in the ATO Business Portal, which are generally due by the 14th day of each month to claim JobKeeper payments for the previous month.

JobKeeper Fortnight Number JobKeeper Fortnight Dates Starting Pay Item Description Finishing Pay Item Description


28 Sep – 11  Oct 2020




12 Oct – 25 Oct 2020




26 Oct – 8 Nov 2020




9 Nov – 22 Nov 2020




23 Nov – 6 Dec 2020




7 Dec – 20 Dec 2020



20 (Q3 ends)

21 Dec 2020 – 3 Jan 2021



21 (Q4 starts)

4 Jan –17 Jan 2021 




18 Jan 31 Jan 2021




1 Feb – 14 Feb 2021




15 Feb – 28 Feb 2021




1 Mar – 14 Mar 2021




15 Mar – 28 Mar 2021



Sources: ATO Website, JobKeeper Payment Whitepaper for MYOB Exo Employer Services, JobKeeper Payment Whitepaper for MYOB Advanced People


BusinessHub Pty Ltd provides implementation and supports in relation to MYOB Advanced and MYOB Exo Employer Services, but we do not provide (and should not be relied on for) legal or accounting advice, so please contact your professional advisor for this type of assistance.

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