COVID-19 Resources

 

 

COVID-19 Member Resources

We have collated a number of key links and information sources that may be of benefit for your business.  

In particular we note that the Federal and State Governments have made announcements that may help you during this time.


 
 

 

 


Industry Impacts

ACCI JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide & Legacy Employer Guide, Fair Work Act Flexibilities Guide (19 October)

Re-watch the video of the JobKeeper 2.0 with ACCI (23 September)

ACCI JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide (4 Sept)

ACCI Media Release | JobKeeper changes needed to prop up employment (7 August)

JobKeeper Employer Guide (21 July)

ACCI Business Condition Survey Report - 2nd Edition (4 June)
ACIF Coronavirus Recovery Proposal (3 June)
Covid-19 Impact Survey Report (27 April)
Clerks Award flexibility during outbreak of Coronavirus (22 April)
SME Commercial Leasing Principles during COVID-19 (7 April)
COVID-19 Federal and State Incentives Diagram (4 April)
ACIF Construction News Brief (31 March)
Landmark COVID-19 awards deal struck (26 March)
Banks Pause Small Business Loan Repayments (20 March)
Coronavirus and the Australian Property Market from CoreLogic (18 March)
COVID-19: NSW Guidance for eConveyancing and VOI (20 March)


Relevant Government Articles

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia (23 September)

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia (4 September)

JobKeeper Amendment Rules - Change of Eligibility & New Notification Requirements (18 August)

Information for businesses seeking to understand their status under Stage 4 restriction in Victoria (7 August)

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia (3 August)

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia (29 July)

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia (23 July)

Extension of the JobKeeper Payment (22 July)

Latest Government Updates
New HomeBuilder grants to drive economic activity in residential construction sector (4 June)
Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia and 3 Step Framework (4 June)
COVID-19: Advice for Employers from Safe Work Australia (4 June)
Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws from Fair Work Ombusdman (4 June)
JobKeeper Payment Fact Sheets (25 May)
JobKeeper Payment - Frequently Asked Questions (25 May)
Economic Response to the Coronavirus (25 May)
Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy (22 May)
Ministerial Statement on the Economy, Parliament House, Canberra (12 May)
Roadmap to a COVID Safe Australia & 3 Step Framework for CovidSafe Australia (22 May)
COVIDSafe App (27 April)
JobKeeper Payment Employer Guide (20 April)
Business updates from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash (15 April)
Australian Taxation Office - Working From Home Deduction Guidance (7 April)
COVID-19 ICU Modeling Summary (7 April)
$130 Billion JobKeeper Payment to Keep Australians in a Job (30 March)
Cash flow assistance for business (25 March)
NSW Construction Sites Exempted from Closures (23 March)


Business Tips

Legacy Employer, Fair Work Act Flexibilites Guide, Edition 1 (4 September)

WHS - New and Updated COVID-19 guidance (23 July)

My Business COVIDSafe Plan from NCCC (14 May)
COVID-19 Business Checklist from NCCC (29 April)
ACCI: Government Assistance Guide Link (28 April)
Construction Worker Tax Time Poster (20 April)
Building and Construction Toolkit (20 April)
COVID-19 Infection Control Training
ACCI: COVID-19 Employer Guide (April 2020)
National Helpline for Businesses impacted by COVID-19
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Live Updated Metrics in Australia & around the World
ACS COVID-19 Business Templates: Epidemic/Pandemic Policy and Working from Home Checklist
15 Key Learnings on How to Manage and Lead during Coronavirus Crisis
Avoid the C.R.A.S.H. - 5 Steps to Recession-Proof Your Business
Australian Cyber Security Centre Alert: COVID-19 Scam
7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams
Thoughts for Leaders and Managers from Table Group
5 (Practical) Cs for Leading in a Crisis/Downturn


Relevant Government Article

 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia

Updated 23rd September, updates include:

  • National Cabinet statement
  • Changes to state and territory restrictions

Download the Fact Sheet


 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia

Updated 4th September, updates include:

  • National Cabinet announcements on:
    - Roadmap for Recovery
    - Hotspot definition
    - International arrival cap
     
  • Changes to state and territory restrictions

Download the Fact Sheet


 

JobKeeper Amendment Rules - Change of Eligibility & New Notification Requirements - 18th August

You may wish to advise your members that a JobKeeper employer who does not identify newly eligible employees, provide them with a nomination notice by 21 August 2020 and make any necessary 'top-up' payments by 31 August 2020 will be in breach of the JobKeeper rules and may face penalties.

Read full information HERE


 

Permitted Work Premises - VIC State - 7th August

Please click HERE to access a table with the "Permitted Work Premises’ for the purposes of the Restricted Activity Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 6), effective as of 5 August 2020 from 11:59 pm".
 
Naturally, Victorian public servants are being inundated with requests for clarification and further information, and it is a trying time for everybody.  James Cameron, Executive Director of Australian Construction Industry Forum has suggested to the VBA a central portal for construction-related enquiries relating to Stage 4 restrictions.  He has heard that the hotline number provided below results in long wait times and no answers.       

 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia - 3rd August

Updated 3rd August, updates include: 
  • VIC list of open, closed, scaled back businesses 
  • Changes to state and territory restrictions 
  • Changes to travel restrictions 
  • Changes to school, TAFE learning 
Key updates across jurisdictions: 
  • VIC has declared a State of Disaster alongside the State of Emergency. This will allow police greater powers to ensure Victorians comply with the COVID-19 restrictions and allows for authorities to suspend acts of Parliament. 
  • From 2 August 2020, Metropolitan Melbourne will enter Stage 4 Lockdown restrictions until September 13. Included in this new stage is a curfew and harsher gathering restrictions and limited reasons for leaving home. Unlike experiences overseas, Stage 4 will still allow restaurants and cafes to remain open for takeaway or takeaway service. 
  • From 11:59pm 5 August, Regional Victoria will enter Stage 3 - Stay at Home restrictions. 
  • All students across VIC will return to learning remotely.  
  • NSW has issued a strong recommendation to wear masks in crowded areas such as when grocery shopping or using public transport. While not mandatory, businesses will be able to enforce mask use as a condition of entry. 
  • ACT Government will ask Canberrans to wear face masks if case numbers return to the territory or surrounding region. Travel to Greater Sydney should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.  
  • QLD: the next several days would determine whether there had been any widespread community transmission, after the state's south-east was put on high alert last week. 
  • SA reintroduced some restrictions after two new cases. Gatherings at homes restricted to 10 people down from 50 and restaurants and pubs can only serve seated patrons. Also announced a re-examination of density rules.  
  • TAS  state borders will be closed to all until at least August 31. 

 


 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia - 29 July

29th July updates include:

  • National Cabinet statement - 24 July
  • State and Territory new school/TAFE closures
  • Travel restrictions by State and Territory

Announced today for VIC:

  • Masks will be mandatory in public for all Victorians from 11:59 pm Sunday, Aug 2.
  • New restrictions for six regional Victoria areas from 11:59 tonight.
  • Victoria's R-number is stable.

Download the Fact Sheet HERE

 


 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia

The updates include: 

  • State and Territory new restrictions (VIC, NSW, ACT) 
  • Travel restrictions by State and Territory  
  • Schools and TAFE update

Download the Fact Sheet


 

Extension of the JobKeeper Payment

The Government is extending the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021.  Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.  The payment rate will be reduced and a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours.  Other eligibility rules remain unchanged.  Read the fact sheet HERE


 

Latest Government Updates

For the most relevant information from the government visit https://www.australia.gov.au

The government continues to maintain the Covid-19 website with:

  • Essential information
  • Stay COVID-Free tips
  • Key updates
  • Health alerts & advice
  • Restrictions & safety advice
  • Financial support
  • Business & employer information
  • Support for individuals, families, & communities
  • Education & child care information
  • State and Territory Government information

Stay informed. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.


New HomeBuilder grants to drive economic activity in residential construction sector (4 June)

The Morrison Government is supporting jobs in the residential construction sector with the introduction of the new HomeBuilder program.
From today until 31 December 2020, HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupierswith a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. 

The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680 million.

This increase in residential construction will help to fill the gap in construction activity expected in the second half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HomeBuilder will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector including businesses and sole-trader builders, contractors, property developers, construction materials manufacturers, engineers, designers and architects.

Read the full Media Release from the Prime Minister, Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing


Roadmap and 3 Step Framework for COVIDSafe Australia (4 June)

The Prime Minister made a number of announcements regarding the Roadmap to a COVID Safe Australia and a 3 Step Framework that would helps us get there.
Headlines Measures Fact Sheet (4 June)
COVIDSafe Plan by State/Territory (4 June)


COVID-19: Advice for Employers from Safe Work Australia (4 June)

Safe Work Australia maintains a website of COVID-19 resources for employers. Information topics include:

  • Duties under WHS laws
  • Workers' rights
  • Vulnerable workers
  • Cleaning
  • Working from home
  • Mental health

Additionally, the below information is also available:

  • Industry information about work health and safety on COVID-19
  • Translated information on COVID-19 for businesses
  • Signage and posters for the workplace to download
  • COVID-19 resource kit for businesses to download

Visit the Safe Work Australia COVID-19 website


Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws from Fair Work Ombusdman (4 June)

Find out about workplace entitlements and obligations during the impact of Coronavirus. 

Fair Work Ombudsman is keeping their website updated with the latest information about workplace rights and responsibilities. 

Returning to work & the workplace
Pay & leave during coronavirus
JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme
Temporary changes to workplace laws
Health & safety in the workplace
Alternative working arrangements
Stand downs
Ending employment & redundancy
Other government information & assistance

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website


JobKeeper Payment Fact Sheets (25 May)

Visit the Australian Government's JobKeeper Payment website


JobKeeper Payment - Frequently Asked Questions (25 May)

The following questions are answered in the FAQ:
What is the JobKeeper Payment?
When will the JobKeeper Payment commence?
How long with the JobKeeper Payment last for?
Is my business eligible?
What type of entities are eligible?
What do I need to do to participate?
How do I work out which of my employees are eligible?
When will I receive the first payment? How often are payments?
And more...

Read the JobKeeper FAQ document

 


Economic Response to the Coronavirus (25 May)
The Government is providing $259 billion in fiscal and balance sheet support, which is equivalent to around 13.3 per cent of annual GDP. Direct fiscal measures are equivalent to around 6.9 per cent of GDP.
The measures provide timely support to workers, households and businesses through a difficult time and position the Australian economy to recover strongly once the health challenge has been overcome. This government overview provides summaries for:

  • Support for individuals and households
  • Support for businesses
  • Supporting the flow of credit
  • Timeline of assistance

Read the Economic Response document


Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy

An overview of Queensland's Economic Recovery Strategy. Click here to read more.


Ministerial Statement on the Economy, Parliament House, Canberra 
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia

The economic impact of the crisis, The economic response to the crisis, and Lifting Restrictions

  • In Australia, Treasury is forecasting GDP to fall by over 10 per cent in the June quarter which would represent our biggest fall on record.
  • At $50 billion, this is a loss equivalent to the total combined quarterly production of South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
  • Treasury is forecasting the unemployment rate to reach around 10 per cent, or 1.4 million unemployed, in the June quarter.
  • In April, surveys showed that job ads halved and activity in the construction, manufacturing and the services sector had their largest ever monthly falls.
  • Over the same period, household savings are expected to increase as a result of the restrictions that have been imposed and an understandably cautious approach by households to discretionary spending. 
  • Our focus will be on practical solutions to the most significant challenges which will be front and centre in the post-crisis world.

Read the full statement here.


COVIDSafe App

We are encouraging you and your teams to download the COVIDSafe app.

The launch of the COVIDSafe App is a significant step towards re-opening our economy and saving the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in business and the people who they serve and who depend on them. The government has made clear that increasing Australia’s ability to contact trace, which the app will do, is a pre-condition for relaxing restrictions. And relaxing restrictions, in a careful and controlled way, is critical to businesses getting back on their feet. We welcome the government’s emphasis on, and transparency of, privacy provisions and data protection and hope this will encourage people to voluntarily download the app.

We encourage members of Consulting Surveyors National to download the voluntary app and to encourage the people you work with and care for to do the same. It is important to remember that the app is voluntary, its use cannot be mandated and there are criminal penalties for breaches of the Biosecurity Act which governs the use of the app. If you have questions, download the FAQ sheet.


JobKeeper Payment Employer Guide (20 March)

This edition has been updated in line with new guidance issued by the ATO, including clarification around the turnover test, the nomination and payment process, and information and examples about eligibility of businesses in the form of a company, trust or partnership.

Download the Updated Jobkeeper Guide from ACCI

JobKeeper Calendar with Key Milestones
In order to keep track of the payment periods and scheme cut off dates see Annexure A - JobKeeper fortnight calendar in the JobKeeper Guide (page 28).

Employer JobKeeper Enabling Direction Checklist
If you believe you are eligible and you are thinking about utilising the Fair Work Act changes through issuing of a JobKeeper enabling direction, please refer to the checklist in Annexure B of the JobKeeper Guide (page 30).


Business Updates from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash (15 April)

Update on Commercial Tenancies

Where it can, rent should continue to be paid, and where there is financial distress as a result of COVID-19 (for example, the tenant is eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program), tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome
There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants
There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent (lockouts and eviction)
There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)
There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours
There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)   
There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent
There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent

Click to read the full Weekly Wrap-Up


Australian Taxation Office - Working From Home Deduction Guidance (7 April)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is announcing special arrangements this year due to COVID-19 to make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home.

The new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses. See the links before for detailed information.

New working from home shortcut
Working from home during COVID-19


COVID-19 ICU Modelling Summary (7 April)

This plan includes modelling possible scenarios of COVID-19 spreading through the Australian population, which is informing the actions Australian government and medical experts are taking to slow the spread and prepare our health system. 

This document outlines scenario modelling undertaken to inform how Australia is preparing our health system, including our intensive care units,  for COVID-19. 

Read the modelling summary


$130 Billion JobKeeper Payment to Keep Australians in a Job (30 March)

The Morrison Government will provide a historic wage subsidy to around 6 million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.

The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.

Read the full Joint Press Release from the Prime Minister and the Federal Treasurer


Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses

This assistance will assist businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees. These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium sized businesses and to improve business confidence.

The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-forprofits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. These payments will help businesses’ and not-for-profits’ cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff. 

Read the Boosting Cash Flow Business Fact Sheet


NSW Construction Sites Exempted from Closures 
NSW's critical infrastructure program moving ahead: In a letter to the industry, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP assures the construction and engineering sectors in NSW that the Government is resolved to continue delivery of its infrastructure program.

He has communicated to the industry that NSW construction sites will be exempted from the closure of places where people gather.

Click here to read his letter to industry


 

 

Industry Impacts

 

ACCI JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide  & Legacy Employer Guide (19th October)

Download the Edition 3 of the JobKeeper 2.0 Guide and the Legacy Employer, Fair Work Act Flexibilities Guide, incorporating changes from a number of legislative instruments previously flagged, as well as an additional alternative decline in turnover test issued by the ATO in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test Rules (No.2) 2020.

 

 

Re-watch the video of the JobKeeper 2.0 discussion (23 September)

Ingrid Fraser and Tamsin Lawrence as ACCI representative joined with CSN Virtual Coffee this morning to explain all the changes in JobKeeper.

Click here to watch the recording.


 

Legacy Employer, Fair Work Act Flexibilities Guide, Edition 1 (4th September)

This guide aims to assist employers who have been eligible for JobKeeper but don't qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 known as "legacy employers" with utilising the modified Fair Work Act flexibilities from 28 September 2020 if they are experiencing a 10% decline in turnover.  The Guide also includes notification and consultation checklists and draft letters for each of the JobKeeper enabling directios available to legacy emplyers (duties, location, reduction in hours/days).  A copy of the Guide can be accessed below.

Download Legacy Employer, Fair Work Act Flexibilites Guide, Edition 1


ACCI JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide (4th September)

The comprehensive new JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide will serve to replace the existing JobKeeper Employer Guide from 28 September 2020.  This guide covers all aspects of the JobKeeper wage subsidy for qualifying employers including employer/emplyoee eligibility, changes in payment rates, interaction with JobSeeker, and the Fair Work Act flexilibilities for both qualifying and legacy employers.  A copy of the Guide can be accessed HERE.


ACCI Media Release | JobKeeper changes needed to prop up employment (7th August)

Hundreds of thousands of people will hold on to their jobs as a result of changes to JobKeeper 2.0 announced by the Federal Government overnight. 

ACCI CEO James Pearson said the Federal Government had heard the concerns of people in business over the eligibility requirements for JobKeeper 2.0

"Within hours of July's JobKeeper 2.0 announcement ACCI and our members identified two issues which needed to be addressed.  

“The first was the need for businesses to show they would meet the downturn threshold in each quarter to be eligible. Many had started to trade out of the June quarter as restrictions eased but were forced back into shutdown within weeks.

“We saw a brief uptick in sales in some industries due to the instant asset write off scheme, superannuation funds being released and hospitality reopening - but this recovery was short-lived for many businesses.

"ACCI also made the case to Government for shifting the date of eligible employees from March to July. The trading restart in May and June saw new employees join the books, if only for a matter of weeks before being stood down again.

“Despite these changes, as in the original JobKeeper, this revision will not provide help to every business that is struggling, and we will continue to work with Government on ways that jobs and businesses can receive the support needed. 

"But there is no doubt that these latest changes will save jobs that were sure to be lost as a result of revenue slumping in the face of Victoria's lockdown and tighter border restrictions in the virus' second wave.

"Our thoughts are with the many struggling businesses and their workers; and today the government has shown its willingness to supply the support needed to help get us through this crisis confronting us all." 

 

For more information:
Marie Hogg | Senior Adviser - Media | +61 431 299 518


JobKeeper Employer Guide - Updated 21 July

The Government responded today to the calls by a range of our business group members by extending JobKeeper until 28 March 2021. The Government has confirmed that current JobKeeper arrangements will operate at the current single rate of $1500 per fortnight until 28 September. After this date and up to the end of December 2020, JobKeeper 2.0 will operate with a 2 tier payment system:

  • $1200 per fortnight for those employees who averaged in February 2020 more than 20 hours per week

  • $750 per fortnight for employees who averaged less than 20 hours per week

In the March quarter (from the end of December), these payments will become:

  • $1000 per fortnight

  • $650 per fortnight for employees who averaged less than 20 hours per week 

To be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0 in the December quarter, businesses will need to demonstrate that their revenue is 30% down for businesses less than $1 billion (50% for businesses above $1b, and 15% for charities) in both the June and September quarters. To be eligible for JobKeeper in the March quarter, they will need to demonstrate revenue losses above the thresholds for three quarters (June, September and December quarters).  

JobKeeper 2.0 is predicted to cost $16 billion (additional to the $70b of the existing scheme). It is estimated to support 1.4 million in the December quarter, and 1 million workers in the March quarter.  

Read full version of JobKeeper 2.0 Employer Guide Addendum


ACCI Business Condition Report - 2nd Edition (4 June)

Since last month, business revenue has been increasingly impacted by the COVID-19 related health restrictions. The share of businesses reporting a greater than 80% reduction in revenue relative to what they would normally expect this time of year increased from 33% in April to 38% in May. 81% of businesses experienced a fall in revenue of more than 25% compared to 75% in April.

Business revenue has been increasingly impacted by social distancing and people movement restrictions, with almost 40% of businesses experiencing an 80% decline and over 80% experiencing a decline of over 25% relative to normal for this time of year.
 
Read the Business Conditions Survey Report


ACIF Coronavirus Recovery Proposal - Construction's Bridge to Recovery (3 June)

After extensive consultation with member associations over the past twelve weeks, the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) today issued the document Construction’s Bridge to Recovery, with a number of key recommendations to guide the construction industry out of the coronavirus disruption period.

ACIF Executive Director James Cameron commented, “As the building and construction sector represents almost 10% of the Australian economy, and the industry employs 1.2 million Australians in over 390,000 businesses, it is essential for Australia that we get this right.“

“We are calling on governments to pull forward and re-commit to spending already announced. These measures could raise building and construction activity by $66 billion over five years, which would have a very beneficial and stimulatory effect.” 

“This stimulus spending should be spread across residential, non-residential and infrastructure construction, with much of the spending to go to small and medium-sized enterprises, and a focus on Australian-made products in construction. Social housing should be a particular focus of residential stimulus.”

”Further, ACIF calls for regulatory reform and regulatory requirements such as licensing and registration and inspections to continue as normal.  The recommendations of the Building Confidence Report should continue to be implemented, and we welcome the most recent Building Ministers’ Forum communiqué stating that this would occur.”

“Fast government payments on projects of 1 to 5 days would definitely assist the industry at this time”, Mr Cameron added. 

“ACIF calls for changes to government procurement processes to assist with the economic recovery and support Australian businesses, and endorses the recent announcement by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in this regard.”

“Vocational and apprenticeship courses should be further supported, with incentives for apprentices to be retained and more hired.  Further, incentives for employers to take on new or out of work apprentices, and bring candidates from outside the industry into entry level roles would all be nation-building.“

“Australia’s epidemiological and fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic has been world class, and the liaison between industry and government outstanding.  We can also have a very positive economic story coming out of this pandemic with the right policy settings”, Mr Cameron stated.

Read ACIF's Construction’s Bridge to Recovery report


Covid-19 Impact Survey Report

Thank you to those who took the time to complete the recent survey about the impact of Coronavirus on you, your business and the industry. The results are now attached. To those from other states who completed it for us, thank you. As the work was commissioned by ACS NSW that is who is referred to in the report, but we acknowledge the input from Consulting Surveyors around the Country through CSN.

The report shows that whilst most are “OK” now, you are expecting a downturn in the coming months and preparing for it.

Read the Impact Survey Report


Clerks Award flexibility during outbreak of Coronavirus

On 28 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) made a determination varying the Clerks Award. The determination inserted a temporary new Schedule, which applies from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 28 March until 30 June 2020. Schedule I adds award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for:

  • employees’ classifications and duties 
  • minimum engagement/pay for part-time and casual employees 
  • span of hours changes while working at home 
  • full-time and part-time employees' hours of work 
  • directions to take annual leave

For more information, see Clerks Award flexibility during outbreak of coronavirus.


SME Commercial Leasing Principals Code of Conduct

The purpose of this Code of Conduct (“the Code”) is to impose a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies (including retail, office and industrial) between owners/operators/other landlords and tenants, where the tenant is an eligible business for the purpose of the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper programme. 

Read the full Code of Conduct


COVID-19 Federal and State Incentives

We have come across this good guide that highlights some of the incentives various federal, state and other bodies have announced to help us all get through this once in a lifetime event.

Review the diagram


ACIF Construction News Brief 

  • 'Game changer': Businesses told to rehire after $130 billion wage subsidy
  • Social Distancing Is A Must on Building Sites
  • Employer or employee, here's what the Government's JobKeeper program means for you
  • New COVID-19 construction guidelines for Victoria
  • South Australia fast tracks $120M of construction projects
  • How we can re-build our economy after COVID-19 through social procurement and
  • construction
  • AR and VR Will Transform Construction

Read the ACIF Construction News Brief


Landmark COVID-19 awards deal struck: ACCI Media Release (27 March)

A landmark deal has been struck between the Australian Services Union and the Australian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An application has been lodged to provide relief to business and employees during the pandemic by:

  • Allowing employees and employers to agree to change ordinary hours of work whilst an employee is working at home. This should give employees expended options to help manage their job around things like schooling children from home during the day without an employer facing additional costs for work being conducted out of usual business hours.   
  • Allowing a business with one weeks’ notice to direct an employee to take annual leave if it decides to close-down its operations.
  • Allowing staff to work more flexibly across classifications, provided it is safe to do so and the employee has the necessary qualifications.
  • Allowing for employers to direct employees to take annual leave
  • Increased flexibility in taking leave such as double leave at half-pay, where employers and employees agree.
  • Allowing employers to engage casual and part-time employees for shorter shifts.
  • Giving employers flexibility to reduce hours for full and part-time staff, whilst allowing employees whose hours are reduced to take on another job or ask to engage in training or additional study.

Banks Pause Small Business Loan Repayments (20 March)

The Australian Banking Association announced Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.  

The assistance will apply to more than $100bn of existing small business loans. ACCI applauds the move after repeatedly lobbying for loan assistance for small businesses. 
 
Today’s announcement will make a big difference for the hundreds of thousands of businesses we represent and the people whose jobs depend on them. 
 
The ABA is urging business chambers and industry associations to help inform small businesses. This is the time for people in business to call their bank and ask for help. 
 
In the meantime, ACCI continues to lobby for a raft of other measures to support Australian small businesses, including putting cash in the hand of small business owners and employees facing uncertain futures. 

Bank, Phone Number & Website  

AMP 1300 130 191 Experiencing financial hardship 
ANZ 1800 252 845 Customer Connect 
Arab Bank 1800 64 64 84 Hardship Assistance 
Bank Australia 132 888 Contact Us 
Bank of Sydney 13 95 00 Financial Hardship 
BOQ 1800 079 866 Financial Hardship Assistance 
Bank SA1800 679 461 Bank SA Assist 
Bankwest 1300 769 173 Experiencing financial hardship 
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank 1300 652 146 Financial difficulty assistance 
Citibank 1800 722 879 Hardship assistance 
Commonwealth Bank 1300 720 814 Emergency assistance 
HSBC 1300 555 988 Financial difficulty 
ING 1300 349 166 Financial Hardship 
Macquarie Bank 1300 363 330 Financial Hardship 
ME Bank 1300 500 520 ME Bank financial hardship 
MyState 13 800 1 MyState financial hardship 
NAB 1800 701 599 Financial Hardship 
Rabobank 1800 025 484 Financial Hardship 
Rural Bank 1800 660 115 Financial Hardship 
St. George Bank 1800 629 795 St. George Assist 
Suncorp Bank 1800 225 223 Suncorp Customer Assist 
Westpac 132 142 Westpac Assist 

For more information:
Marie Hogg - 0431 299 518 


Coronavirus and the Australian Property Market

Amid the spread of coronavirus, the past few weeks have seen increased expectations of an Australian recession, a slowdown in business activity and trillions of dollars wiped off global share markets. 

It has many asking what the impact of the coronavirus would be on Australian residential property. 

This CoreLogic article explores the fundamentals of housing to better understand outcomes in the current climate. 

  • Housing has performed relatively well against negative economic shocks, but the unique conditions of a pandemicinduced economic slowdown must be considered; 
  • Housing is an illiquid asset and a consumption good, which shows far less volatility and decline than share markets;
  • In the coming weeks, property transactions may fall significantly, but the impact on values is unclear; and, 
  • Existing economic headwinds, including high household debt, make the property market particularly susceptible to a fall in demand. However, Australia does not have ‘one’ property market, and a decline in demand will be tempered by the composition of the local workforce, and the state of household finances. 

Read the full article


COVID-19: Guidance for eConveyancing and VOI

Over recent days in light of the rapidly evolving situation around the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus, the Office of the Registrar General is are aware that many of you cannot or are choosing not to conduct a face-to-face VOI. ARNECC has provided guidance on this and is available here.
The ARNECC statement suggests that a CAF may be electronically signed, depending on whether your jurisdiction allows for this.

Read the full article


Business Tips 
 

Work Health & Safety - New and updated COVID-19 guidance

New information on Volunteers and COVID-19 and Transitioning a back to usual workplaces has been published on the Safe Work Australia website. 

Guidance on Masks and PPE for all industries has been updated in line with the latest advice from the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee. The Types and uses of face masks infographic has also been updated. 

The COVID-19 WHS incident notification fact sheet has also been updated with new information about incident notifications in Victoria. 

Guidance for the Food processing and manufacturing industry has been updated with tailored advice for meat processing and manufacturing. 

It includes detailed information on physical distancing in meat processing workplaces, including visual examples of good and bad practice 

Information on hygiene, cleaning, PPE and masks has also been updated. 

The guidance has been developed in consultation with stakeholders including work health and safety regulators and the Australian Government Department of Health. 

 


My Business COVIDSafe Plan 

COVID-19 will be with us for some time, so it's important that your business has a plan - and continues to plan - to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free.

All Australian Governments have agreed to a set of National COVID-19 Safe Work Principles to guide us and ensure that our workplaces are healthy and safe.

Read the full article


 
Business Checklist from NCCC - National COVID-19 Coordination Commission
 
COVID-19 could be with us for some time, so it’s important that businesses have a plan to keep their workforce safe and virus free. Businesses need to develop safe work practices and consider how they can reconfigure their operations to adapt to ongoing restrictions. 

Read the full article 


ACCI: Government Assistance Guide 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Commonwealth, along with state and territory governments have announced a range of support measures to try to keep businesses afloat and to keep workers in jobs so that Australia can restart quickly once COVID-19 is under control.

This information booklet seeks to provide a general overview around what financial and regulatory relief governments are providing to businesses affected by COVID-19 and their employees, as well as answering some of the more common questions that are arising for businesses.

Download the Government Assistance Guide


Construction Worker Tax Time Poster
This poster provides helpful information on which expenses building and construction workers can and cannot claim at tax time. Click here to download the poster.

 
Building and Construction Toolkit
This Toolkit contains five posters (apprentice, construction worker, engineer, office worker and tradie). It also contains a general work-related expense guide for the building and construction sector.

Pre-drafted social media posts and a newsletter article that you can include in your relevant communication channels, also available on page 12 and 13 of the building and construction toolkit. Click here for the toolkit.


COVID-19 Infection Control Training

The Department of Health has partnered with Aspen Medical to develop COVID-19 training to help stop the spread of the virus. 

It is still important that we all remain up to date on the current myths and facts and ensure we understand the full work, health and safety requirements for our staff, our families and ourselves.

When you complete it with 80% accuracy you will get a certificate which you can forward to admin@acsnsw.com.au for allocation of 0.5 SP CPD for WHS.

Take the training!


ACCI: COVID-19 Employer Guide (April 2020)

The focus of the COVID-19 Employer Guide is on managing and protecting your employees and your workplace and answering some of the workplace relations and work health and safety (WHS) questions that are coming up for employer.

Download the COVID-19 Employer Guide (Edition 4)


National Helpline for Businesses impacted by COVID-19

13 28 46 - Contact Centre 

The Government’s business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with specialist advisers and extended support hours. 
Operation hours: seven days per week, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Live Updated Metrics in Australia & the World
Click on the links below for updated metrics on confirmed cases of COVID-19

Australia Metrics - https://www.covid19data.com.au
World Metrics - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus


Association of Consulting Surveyors COVID-19 Business Templates:
Epidemic/Pandemic Policy and Working from Home Checklist

ACS has developed a few COVID-19 business templates that may be of benefit to your organisation. 

Download the ACS Epidemic/Pandemic Policy
Download the ACS Working from Home Checklist


15 Key Learnings on How to Manage and Lead during Coronavirus Crisis

Insights from around the CEO CircleOur Circle meetings over the past few days have been entirely about how to manage the unfolding Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  

None of us has ever seen anything like this. It is genuinely daunting on so many fronts. As is understandable, the mood of the meetings has been downbeat, even grim at times.  

However, there is also a determination to rise to the challenge and provide leadership in these troubled times.

Here are 15 of the critical learnings gathered from our most recent Circle meetings. We hope these learnings offer some assistance and guidance to you. 


Avoid the C.R.A.S.H. - 5 Steps to Recession-Proof Your Business

Like you, we are receiving lots of information and advice about how to cope with the current crisis and this one I thought would be most helpful for you. 

Doom and Gloom or Boom Boom Boom?
If tomorrow’s headlines screamed of disaster and consumer sentiment fell through the floor, what would happen to your business?

Would you be worried or optimistic about the opportunities that were about to present themselves? Or worried about whether you would survive the C.R.A.S.H.?

This guide has been designed to help you prepare for worst case scenario even if it never happens.

Download the Avoid the C.R.A.S.H guide and learn the 5 steps to recession-proof your business. 
C - Cash buffer
R - Reducing costs
A - Assets and automation
S - Stand out
H - Get help
Not only will this guide help shield you when things go bad, it will give you a competitive edge when things are going well.

Special thanks to the team at DENT for this info!


Australian Cyber Security Centre Alert

What's Happened?

ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a COVID-19 themed scam being distributed via text message.
 
We understand the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch has received multiple reports of COVID-19 themed scam texts being sent to members of the public.
 
The text messages appear to come from ‘GOV’ as the sender and they include a link to find out when to ‘get tested in your geographical area’ for COVID-19.
 
The link in these text messages is not legitimate, and if clicked on, may install malicious software on your device, designed to steal your banking details.

How do I stay safe?
If you receive one of these messages, delete the message and do not click the link. 
 
Messages that pretend to be government and other trusted organisations are known as phishing scams. They often contain a link to a fake website, where you are encouraged to enter confidential details.
 
To protect yourself from phishing: 

  • Remember, Australian Government agencies will never send you text messages containing web-links.
  • Before you click a link, hover over that link to see the actual web address it will take you to (usually shown at the bottom of the browser window). If you do not recognise or trust the address, try searching for relevant key terms in a web browser. This way you can find the article, video or webpage without directly clicking on the suspicious link.
  • If you're not sure, talk through the suspicious message with a friend or family member, or check its legitimacy by contacting the relevant business or organisation (using contact details sourced from the official company website).If you’ve received one of these messages and you’ve clicked on the link, or you’re concerned your personal details have been compromised, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • If you’ve suffered financial loss from cybercrime, report it to ReportCyber.

To stay up to date on the latest online threats and how to respond, sign up to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service.


7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams

 These tips from Inc.com's Technology Columnist @jasonaten will help you and your team be productive regardless of where they work.
Right now, remote working--or, working from home--has become more than a trend. It's now a necessity for companies all across the globe.

As a result, there are thousands of team leaders and managers who find themselves suddenly managing a completely remote team. Honestly, that can be scary, especially if it's the first time you've ever had to do so and didn't have a lot of time to prepare.

If that's you, this list of tips will help you set up yourself and your team for success:

Have a Daily Check-In
Communicate a Lot
Take Advantage of Technology
Manage Expectations
Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity
Resource Your Team
Be Flexible

Read the full article


Thoughts for Leaders and Managers from Table Group

In this unprecedented and uncertain time, many leaders and managers are wondering what they can do to help the people in their charge. To a certain extent, this will depend on the situation.

Some leaders are still working with their people in person, either because they are in a location where businesses are still open, or because they work in one of those industries that are critical and must continue to function during this time.

For leaders like me in northern California, I cannot even be in the same room with my people as we are limited to staying in our homes with our families. In the course of the next few days, I would guess that most cities and states will shut down like we’ve done here, leaving people to interact only virtually with their team members.

Regardless of your situation, I offer these three simple recommendations...

First, be exceedingly human
Second, be persistent
Finally, be creative

Download the Full Article
 


5 (Practical) Cs for Leading in a Crisis/Downturn

Here are 5 actions to take as leader.  The first is THE most important – do the rest in whatever order makes sense.
Communicate Daily - Send out a Daily Communication
Customer/Community Support - Gather teams, brainstorm and act on how to support our customers and community
Clean Up and Catch Up - Use this slowdown to clean up and catch up after running hard for so many years
Cash, Cash, Cash - Review all monthly recurring expenses and eliminate redundancies
Calm and considerate - Stay calm and breathe, take a few breaths and give thanks for being alive

Download the full article