Strategies and advice for businesses to stay in control through COVID-19 and get ahead of the pack

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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 29th July

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 29th July.

In today’s briefing:
1. Isolation/quarantine requirements: when and how long
2. Victoria: Payroll tax is exempt on top-up payments for JobKeeper
3. Victoria: Payroll tax – option to pay annually in arrears

1. Isolation/quarantine requirements: when and how long

I know that there have been some confusing messages about when people are required to be in isolation and/or quarantine. To clear this up, I’ve sought clarification from the Federal and Victoria health departments.

Let’s look at the scenarios:

A. One of your team is feeling unwell.

(Example: They start to have a runny nose, cough, sore throat.)

If they have any symptoms of cold or flu, they should immediately self-isolate and get tested for coronavirus.

If they’re unsure of their symptoms, you can use this coronavirus self-assessment tool with them: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessment

If their coronavirus test is negative, they should still isolate at home – however long it takes – until all their symptoms have completely gone. Taking this precaution will stop them passing any illness on to others in your company (who may then have to go through the same procedure).

If their test is positive, they must stay in isolation. They will be contacted by the health department with instructions.

 

B. One of your team has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus

(Example: A team member feels fine but a person at a client’s site who they spent some time working alongside has tested positive for coronavirus.)

Your team member will be contacted by a contact tracer from the health department to inform them that they have been identified as being in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. (They may also be notified by the person they were in close contact with.)

If anybody is notified that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, they will need to quarantine for 14 days, even if they feel well and don’t have any symptoms. The health department will advise whether they need to be tested for coronavirus.

The reason people must still stay in quarantine for the full 14 days, even if they are feeling well and not showing any symptoms, is because the symptoms for coronavirus can take 3-6 days to show.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Victorian DHHS website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/self-quarantine-coronavirus-covid-19

What should I do if one of my team is a casual contact (not close contact) of someone with COVID-19?

A casual contact is defined as someone who has had face-to-face contact for less than 15 minutes cumulative over the course of a week, or been in the same closed space for less than 2 hours, with a person with a COVID-19 infection while they were infectious. Closed settings might include schools or offices.

If they are a casual contact, you do not need to ask them to self-isolate unless they have symptoms. They should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their last casual contact with the person with COVID-19. Click here to find more information on casual contacts.

 

What should I do if one of my team interacts with someone who was identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case?

If they have been in contact with a person identified as a close contact of another person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, they do not need to self-isolate and don’t need to take any other special precautions.

If a close contact develops symptoms and is confirmed as a COVID-19 case, public health authorities will determine who, if anyone, has been in close contact with them while they were infectious, and these people will be directed to self-isolate.

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2. Victoria: Payroll tax is exempt on top-up payments for JobKeeper

This is important to know as Victorian businesses are liable to recommence payroll tax payments (or have the payment deferred) from July 2020.

In Victoria, payroll tax is exempt on the additional payments you make to top-up the gap between an employee’s normal wage and the $1500 per fortnight required to qualify for JobKeeper payments.

For example, to qualify for a JobKeeper payment, an employer must pay an additional $500 to an employee who earns $1000 a fortnight. This additional payment of $500 is exempt from payroll tax.

For employees who have been stood down and are not performing any work but are being kept on payroll, the full $1500 JobKeeper paid to them is exempt from payroll tax.

For more details, visit this page on the SRO website (scroll down to the bottom quarter of the page): https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/frequently-asked-questions-response-covid-19

If you have any questions, please speak with a Tenfold Business Coach.

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3. Victoria: Payroll tax – option to pay annually in arrears

With cashflow tight in some businesses, this is a handy option to consider: Businesses with payroll tax liabilities less than $40K per annum can apply to have their payroll tax liability moved to annually in arrears.

This means you can defer your whole 2020/21 payroll tax payments until July 2021.

For information on how to lodge your annual reconciliation, visit the State Revenue Office website here: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/payrolltaxFAQs

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4. Reusable masks

We have a trusted supplier of quality reusable face masks at a reasonable price. If you’re interested, you can visit Tracy’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Mask-106263891166878/

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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