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 – 31st March

Hi, it’s Ashley Thomson with the COVID-19 business continuity update for Tuesday 31st March.

In today’s briefing:
1. JobKeeper payments: What this means for your business
2. COVID-19 facts: how long it lasts on surfaces and other facts

1. JobKeeper payments: What this means for your business

As you would have heard, yesterday afternoon the government announced a $130 billion boost to support businesses that are being significantly hurt by COVID-19.

Where you have experienced a greater than 30% drop in revenue, the Government will subsidise wages by paying you as employers $1500 per employee per fortnight (before tax).

This will be extremely beneficial for businesses with a large workforce on low or medium level wages.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell: The government will contribute the first $1500 of every employees’ fortnightly pay for businesses that have – or are expecting – 30% drop in revenue.

Example:

Which businesses are eligible to receive the wage subsidy?
If your revenue has decreased – or you expect it to decrease – 30% or more since 1 March 2020. The decrease of 30% is to be based on a comparable period. At the moment, there isn’t any further information about how this decrease in revenue will be assessed, and based on the speed of the announcement, I don’t think the government has determined how they will assess it as yet. Stay tuned, we’ll let you know more details shortly.

Sole traders / self employed who meet the turnover tests are also eligible (see here: JobKeeper Payment Fact Sheet)

Which employees can receive the payment?
Any full time or part time employee on your books at 1 March
Any casual employee who has worked for your business on a regular basis for over 12 months.
Any employees who are currently employed by you – including anyone who has been stood down and also including people you rehire
Includes Australian citizens and certain visa holders (link: JobKeeper Payment Fact Sheet)

How do I get JobKeeper for my employees?
Register with the ATO now: https://www.ato.gov.au/Job-keeper-payment

When do I get paid JobKeeper?
The start of May. The program commenced on Monday but money won’t flow until the first of May.

How do will I be paid JobKeeper?
The ATO will reimburse companies for the last couple of days of March (30th and 31st) — and the whole month of April — from the start of May.

This is great news, it provides a safety net for every business that experiences a decrease in their revenue through no fault of their own. Call us to speak to a coach about rightsizing your labour costs and the various means available to do so.

Important things to be aware of:

  • The full amount of the $1500 wage subsidy must be passed on in full to the employee.
  • The payments will be made monthly in arrears, so it is essential that you ensure your business and your employees continually meet the eligibility criteria.
  • You must still pay superannuation on employees’ regular salary.
  • You must continue to accrue leave entitlements for all employees who have been stood down.
  • You must notify your employees if you register for JobKeeper payment. That’s because it may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia (such as JobSeeker). They will have to report a JobKeeper payment as income.

For more information, see here: JobKeeper Payment Fact Sheet – Employers. Your Tenfold business coach will be able to guide you through the process.

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2. COVID-19 facts: how long it lasts on surfaces and other facts

Leading scientific research has provided these facts on how long COVID-19 lasts on surfaces:

In the air: 3 hours
Cardboard, paper, fabric: 24 hours
Plastic, glass, stainless steel, other hard surfaces: 72 hours

Here’s a graphic with more information:


Image source: Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

There is a lot of misinformation being spread around about COVID-19. Here are some facts from the World Health Organization to equip you with the right information:

Temperature: COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease. Similarly, cold weather and snow CANNOT kill coronavirus.

Mosquito bites: coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Medicine to prevent and treat coronavirus: To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Read more facts here on the World Health Organization website

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I trust that you are buoyed by the good news of the JobKeeper payment. I know this will make a huge difference to many of you and your employees.

Stay positive and keep safe.

Ashley

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