Social Security Point-in-Time Service Updates

Tuesday 21 April 2020 @ 1.47 p.m.

The Social Security Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Act 2020 (Cth) (Act 38 of 2020).

Act 38 of 2020

Schedule 1 to this Act amends the Fair Work Act 2009 to support the practical operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces in the national workplace relations system and keep Australians employed. Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Act inserts new Part 6-4C into the Fair Work Act, which temporarily enables employers to issue JobKeeper enabling directions. These can provide (subject to various safeguards) for increased flexibility around employees’ hours of work via a new JobKeeper enabling stand down direction, performance of duties and location of work. It also enables employers and employees to make agreements for increased flexibility around annual leave arrangements and days and times of work. The FWC will be able to resolve disputes, including by arbitration. New Part 6-4C also requires JobKeeper qualifying employers to meet minimum payment obligations to employees who are subject to these arrangements, including by ensuring that at least the value of JobKeeper payments they receive through the Commissioner is passed on to such employees each fortnight, or the amount they would receive for the work they have performed if that would be greater. New Part 6-4C also includes rules about accrual of service and calculation of benefits in certain circumstances.

Schedule 2 makes consequential amendments to payment acts for the measures contained in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Act 2020.

Schedule 3 to this Act makes technical amendments to the Guarantee of Lending Act. The amendments ensure that certain categories of smaller non-ADI lenders will fall within the definition of financial institution in that Act.

Schedule 4 to this Act amends the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 to modify the calculation method used for Child Care Subsidy reconciliation to ensure a consistent outcome for individuals who have changed their relationship status during the financial year; and meet various circumstances of social and financial hardship being experienced by the child care sector and families, arising from emergency and disaster events including the Coronavirus by ensuring that payments of Additional Child Care Subsidy and certain grants can draw upon standing appropriations. The amendments also require that the Minister make rules which prescribe the total amount that can be paid in a financial year.

Schedule 5 to this Act provides a temporary mechanism for responsible Ministers to change arrangements for meeting information and documentary requirements under Commonwealth legislation in response to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus.

Schedule 6 to this Act allows the Veterans’ Minister to increase, by legislative instrument, the amount paid to persons receiving a payment under a provision of the Veterans’ Law by the amount of the COVID-19 supplement; and vary the qualifications and eligibility for payments under the Veterans’ Law by legislative instrument. These instruments may only be made after consultation with the Social Services Minister. Both the powers and any instruments made using them will end on 31 December 2020.

Schedule 7 to this Act makes amendments to the tax secrecy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to allow de-identified protected information to be disclosed to the Treasury for the purposes of policy development, or analysis, in relation to the Coronavirus, including in relation to programs introduced in response to the economic impacts of the Coronavirus. The amendments allow such disclosures to be made until 30 June 2023.

These amendments have been updated in the Point-in-Time Social Security Service current to 20 April 2020. (NB: Subscription required).

If you are not already a subscriber to this or other Point-in-Time Services then please contact us to find out more or to take a free trial