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 – 7th August

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on 7th August.

In this update:

1. JobKeeper updates – for all states
2. Victorian Stage 4 restrictions – police checks

 

1. JobKeeper updates – for all states

Today the PM announced changes to JobKeeper to provide more support to businesses that continue to be impacted by the COVID crisis.

There are two changes being made. The first is employee eligibility – for both the current scheme and JobKeeper extension – and the second change is the business turnover test for JobKeeper extension.

 

Employee eligibility for JobKeeper – current scheme and extension

JobKeeper will now be available for employees who were employed in your business before 1st July (an extension from the 1st March employment date criteria).

Importantly, you will also be able to immediately claim JobKeeper for employees who joined you between 1st March and 1st July 2020.

 

Business turnover test – JobKeeper Extension

To be eligible for JobKeeper Extension (from 28th September – 3rd January), businesses will only have to show a fall in turnover in the September quarter compared with a comparable period in 2019. Previously, (read my previous post here) a business would have been required to show declines in the September and June quarters to requalify for the subsidy. See the example below:

JobKeeper extension 2.0 chart eligible

What the changes to JobKeeper Extension means for your business

These changes will benefit those businesses that – due to adjusting their businesses, had seen good results in the June quarter – may not have been eligible under the old JobKeeper extension requirement of 2 consecutive quarters of downturn.

It will also benefit businesses who have recruited new employees since 1st March. If you are eligible for JobKeeper extension, you’ll be getting subsidised for the wages of your new team members.

The amount of the subsidy will still decrease in the extension:
$1200 for full time employees
$750 for part time employees

JobKeeper Extension – part time vs full time employees

Under JobKeeper extension, a part time employee is one who has worked on average less than 20 hours per week, in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.

For example, a business has 5 employees of which are 3 full time and 2 part time. One of the part timers works 16 hours per week and the other part timer works 25 hours a week. In this scenario, the part timer on 25 hours a week will be considered full time for the purposes of JobKeeper.

 

JobKeeper Extension – alternative test

The latest update from Treasury suggests that the alternative test for eligibility will be the same as last time. This would be good news for fast growing Tenfold clients that applied the alternative tests to access JobKeeper in the first round of support. We’re still waiting on formal confirmation and I’ll keep you posted.

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2. Victorian Stage 4 restrictions – police checks

I have heard from several Tenfold clients involved in site works that their employees have been pulled up by the police while travelling to work.

The feedback in each instance is that the police are very much appreciating the level of detail and preparedness when the employee has presented their pack of documents. Because they have been able to tick all the boxes easily, each police check has gone quickly and without any bother. (Click here to read the briefing on how what to have on hand.)

This is a strong affirmation that Tenfold clients are doing the right thing.

I’ve also heard from another Tenfold client that the communications they developed with their coach to send to their clients about their COVID plans is making them a standout supplier to the market leading client in their sector. The major client said that no other supplier is demonstrating the professionalism or proactivity of the Tenfold client. As a result, the Tenfold client is now in pole position to pick up more work from this major industry client.

 

Police checks – Log books

I’ve also been informed through other sources that police are asking for log books for employees working at multiple sites.

From what we have found on the government websites, the log book should record each work location, and date and time of attendance. Many Tenfold clients are already recording this information in their scheduling system such as SimPRO or AroFlo. Alternatively, you may be using vehicle tracking or simply a vehicle log book.

It would be reasonable to think any of those methods is a sufficient record for logging worker movements and activity. Ensure your COVID Safe plan includes the method you are using for your log records.

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It’s been yet another big week, particularly for Victorians. Every business coach and mentor at Tenfold has been really impressed by how well our business clients have responded to this rapidly changing environment.

Well done, and keep going. As always, we’ve got your back.

Ash

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

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