Federal Budget 2020-21: JobKeeper & JobSeeker

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No major changes were highlighted to the JobKeeper or JobSeeker programs, other than changes to the mutual obligation requirements for JobSeeker.  Both programs will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.


No new amendments to the JobKeeper program were announced in the Budget, with the Government expected to review the program on an ongoing basis (especially closer to its 28 March 2021 end date).

Overall, the JobKeeper program is now estimated to cost $101.3 billion over the forward estimates period, $15.6 billion more than was reported in the July 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update.  This is due to:

  • changing the employment reference date for assessing an employee's eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020, with effect from 3 August 2020; and
  • extending the JobKeeper program until 28 March 2021.


In April 2020, the Government established a new time-limited Coronavirus Supplement to be paid at a non-income tested rate of $550 per fortnight.  This is paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Farm Household Allowance, Special Benefit, and recipients of the Department of Veterans' Affairs Education Schemes, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme and Veterans' Children's Education Scheme.

As was previously announced, from 25 September 2020 this supplement changed to $250 per fortnight and will continue to 31 December 2020.  The income free area will change to $300 per fortnight with a 60 cents taper for income earned above the income free area for JobSeeker Payment (except principal carer parents who have an income free area of $106 and a taper rate of 40 cents) and Youth Allowance (other) recipients.

Payment eligibility for the above programs has been relaxed on a temporary basis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, from 25 September 2020, the following will change:

  • the Assets test and Liquid Assets Waiting Period will be reinstated; and
  • the partner income test taper will be further revised to 27 cents in the dollar above the partner income free area of $1,165 per fortnight (through to 31 December 2020).

Mutual obligation requirements were temporarily lifted on 24 March 2020 and then gradually reinstated from 9 June 2020 in line with the gradual removal of COVID-19 restrictions (apart from Victorian residents).  Mutual obligations will be changed to give job seekers greater flexibility to count education and training toward their activity requirements.

The Government has previously indicated that it will review these measures on an ongoing basis through the COVID-19 pandemic and make necessary changes in response to situations that arise, as occurred in relation to the second wave in Victoria.

On 2 August 2022, the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill 2022 was passed (Aged Care Bill), introducing important regulatory changes to Australia’s aged care sector. The Bill makes numerous legislative amendments, including to the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) (Aged Care Act) and the Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997 (Cth) (Transitional Provisions Act), and responds to various recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Royal Commission) Final Report (Report). The Report identified the provision of substandard aged care services and perceived systemic failures in the aged care sector.[1]

08 August 2022

The Federal Court has refused an application to stay proceedings to quantify compensation for patent infringement (quantum proceedings) pending the outcome of separate parallel proceedings challenging the validity of the infringed patent on new grounds. The case is significant as intellectual property cases are regularly bifurcated with liability determined separately damages or an account of profits. A patentee may also bring consecutive infringement cases and therefore have two separate cases considering invalidity issues for the same patent running in parallel.

03 August 2022

Since the introduction of a nationwide Marketing Authorization Holder (MAH) system in 2019, licenses have linked directly to therapeutic products rather than manufacturers.

03 August 2022