COVID-19 Business Support Update - 12 May 2020
Keeping on top of the latest support and assistance for your business throughout the COVID-19 situation can be a full time job. There are a lot of resources available but sifting through the information that doesn’t apply to you can take hours and most of us are trying to use any spare time we have to keep our businesses running.
We’ve put together a few points from the latest updates as well as links to places you can get further information if you need it. If you would like specific assistance and advice on how best to guide your business through this challenging time our Sunshine Coast accountants are on hand to help. Book an appointment with an accountant today at 07 5471 7077.
Extension to the JobKeeper enrollment deadline
If you have yet to apply for JobKeeper assistance, you still have time. The cut-off date for enrolling for the JobKeeper scheme has been extended from the 30 April to the 31 May 2020.
More information on the eligibility requirements for employers and employees can be found here - business.gov.au
Temporary Fair Work Act changes
Temporary changes to the Fair Work Act have been introduced which finish on 28 Sept 2020. These changes allow eligible employers to give ‘JobKeeper enabling directions’ to eligible employees. Which means in certain cases employers can:
- Change an employees usual duties
- Change an employees location of work
- Stand down an employee (including reducing hours/days of work)
- Make agreements to change days and times of work and take annual leave.
More information on the Fair Work Act changes can be found - coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au
More funding for Job Support Loans
Additional funding of $500 million has been allocated to the Job Support Loans scheme to meet the high level of funding applications. Unfortunately for those yet to submit a request the Govt are not accepting new applications at this stage. As at 11 May $469 million had been allocated to businesses helping to support more than 40,000 jobs.
Three-step national plan and Queensland schedule
Australias 3 step framework for a Covid-19 safe country.
- Step 1: The important first small steps - connect with friends and family - allowing groups of people to be together in homes and in the community.
- Step 2: Slightly larger gatherings and more businesses reopening. Higher risk activities have tighter restrictions.
- Step 3: A commitment to reopening business and the community with minimal restrictions, but underpinned by COVIDSafe ways of living.
Information detailing how the 3 stages affect different businesses or organisations can be found here - health.gov.au
Queensland Government factsheet for businesses to ensure safe practices are adhered to including what type of businesses can open and what are the restrictions apply to those businesses when they do can be accessed here - health.qld.gov.au
Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the easing of restrictions for businesses in Queensland can be found here - business.qld.gov.au
Maintaining safe habits as businesses return to work
Many businesses are beginning to consider how best to move forward as restrictions ease over the coming months. As businesses return to work in the next 3 months it is essential to protect customers and staff during, and after, the coronavirus pandemic. Your workplace may not look or operate as it did before.
As many businesses owners are unsure of the steps they need to take to maintain a safe working environment the QLD Government has put together resources and guidelines for workplaces to ensure an appropriate level of hygiene and protection relevant to your industry is met. These resources can be found here - business.qld.gov.au
Covid-19 business assistance finder
The Queensland Government have put together a COVID-19 Business Assistance Finder tool which provides information to all types and sizes of businesses on the assistance options available.
The tool asks for general information about your business, such as the number of employees, industry, and your local council area, to filter relevant state and federal assistance programs that are relevant to your business. The results provide you with a range of assistance programs, as well as applicable support or rebates which have been automatically applied.
Relief can come in many forms from tax to insurance, banking and finance assistance to phone and internet or energy bill assistance.
There is also a Business Impact Survey which further identifies assistance programs which could help your business through the COVID-19 pandemic situation recovery period.
Other helpful resources include:
- Financial assistance webinars - covering topics such as managing cash flow, business planning and strategies, and mentoring sessions.
- Information on the support offered for commercial tenants.
- Information on how to access credit quickly if you need it.
- Tax support info.
More Information on the assistance or relief programs available for businesses in the Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Council can be found here: