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COVID-19
Business Information - COVID-19

 

 

           

Business Information COVID-19

Latest Information Regarding the Shutdown

Western Australia and South Australia have joined Tasmania and the Northern Territory in requiring visitors to isolate for 14 days upon arrival, effectively closing the borders. Freight and logistics are exempt from this requirement.

Queensland border to be closed from midnight on Wednesday 25 March

  • Here is what we know about the latest domestic border close:
    • The state will be closed to “non-essential” visitors.
    • The boundaries will be closed from midnight on Wednesday.
    • The Queensland disaster management committee will meet on Tuesday to finalise the details.
    • As with Tasmania and WA, if you are a resident, you can still get in. You just have to quarantine (at home) for 14 days.
    • Visitors will have to prove they can self-isolate for 14 days.

What businesses will close?

From midday on Monday, 23 March, the following businesses will be closed nationally:

  • pubs
  • clubs
  • cinemas
  • casinos
  • nightclubs
  • indoor places of worship
  • gyms
  • indoor sporting venues

Under the new measures, cafes and restaurants will be able to operate, but will only offer take-away and delivery services.

Hotels will be allowed to continue operations in an accommodation capacity.

FAQ

Information supplied by the National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) at 10:30 am, Monday, 23 March.

Question: What are essential and non essential services?

Answer: The places being closed are listed in the Prime Minsters Statement.

Question: What about the building industry, is it a essential or non-essential service?

Answer: The building industry is not listed on the list of closures, so it's up to employers to use their discretion.

Question: What about sole traders or employers visiting homes?

Answer: They can continue whilst using precautions (cleaning hands regularly, not visiting if they show signs of symptoms) and its up to the employer to use their discretion whilst managing their employees.


COVID-19 FAQs

Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors have put together a document addressing frequently asked business questions about COVID-19. 


            COVID-19 - Business Information FAQ's

ABA relief for small business


The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has announced that all small businesses who are impacted by Coronavirus will be entitled to a six-month deferral on all business loans. Read more to learn how this affects your business.

For more information, visit: https://www.businessaustralia.com/how-we-help/be-a-better-employer/getting-legal-advice/employer-guide-to-coronavirus/latest-news?deliveryName=DM578


How can I prepare my business if I get sick?

Excerpt of information produced by the NSW Small Business Commissioner. For more information, visit: https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19-coronavirus-information-small-business-owners


It’s important to be prepared in case you cannot be there to run your business. Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ahead of time is a good way to ensure that your business can remain operating or viable should a disaster strike. Start your Business Continuity Plan with this BCP template.

CPA Australia also have a COVID-19 Contingency Plan checklist that's quick and easy to use.


Here are some other practical ways to prepare for a shut down or isolation period:


  • Use cloud-based storage for all your business records to enable you to access your key data and documents from any location with an internet connection.
  • Have a list of your key contacts and a handover notes prepared and easily accessible in case someone needs to run your business on your behalf
  • Have a staffing plan to ensure your employees are trained so they have the skills and knowledge to undertake necessary activities.
  • Make sure that you have arrangements for relief or casual/temporary staff you can call on at short notice if your regular staff are unable to work.


What are the WHS risks an employer should consider if workers are working from home?


Excerpt of information produced by SafeWork NSW. For more information please visit the following link: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-employers


In Australia, the model WHS laws still apply to all businesses if workers are required to work somewhere other than their usual workplace, for example, working from home. In this instance employers must still ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers. The worker also has a responsibility to take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety, including complying with reasonable instruction given by the employer or any policy and procedures provided.


Even in challenging circumstances such as this pandemic there are still measures employers can take to minimise physical and psychosocial risks when workers are working from home. For example:


  • providing workers with guidance on what a good workstation set-up looks like
  • requiring workers to familiarise themselves with good ergonomic practices, and requiring them to comply with them, for example by referring to a self-assessment checklist
  • maintaining daily communication with workers through phone, email or skype, and
  • providing continued access to an employee assistance program and appointing a contact person in the business that workers can talk to about any concerns.
  • Working from home may change, increase or create work health or safety risks. Consultation with workers about working from home and the home environment is important.
  • Risks that an employer should consider include:
  • workstation set up
  • work hours and breaks
  • physical environment such as heat, cold, lighting, electrical safety, home hygiene and home renovations
  • psychosocial risks such as isolation, reduced social support from managers and colleagues, fatigue, online harassment, domestic violence.

What support is available to you?

Excerpt of information produced by business.cov.au. For more information please visit the following link: https://www.businessaustralia.com/how-we-help/be-a-better-employer/getting-legal-advice/employer-guide-to-coronavirus/latest-news?deliveryName=DM578


The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you're a sole trader or you employ people, learn what your business can get and where to go for help.


If you are a sole trader without employees


If you're a sole trader and do not employ any staff you are eligible for:

  • the increased instant asset write-off measures.
  • the accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements.


If your business is in a severely impacted region, community or industry, you may benefit from various measures that will be put in place using the $1 billion the Government has made available for this purpose.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help.

If you can’t work because you become sick or need to self-isolate, or your income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, you may be eligible for income support payments.

The Government is making these payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period in certain circumstances. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.


If you employ people


If you employ staff, you may be eligible for:

  • temporary cash flow support to help cover the costs of your employee's wages
  • assistance to help pay for the wages of your apprentices or trainees

Casual employees


If you employ a casual employee and they can’t work because they become sick or need to self-isolate, or their income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments.

The Government is making these payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period in certain circumstances. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) has a video explaining how the government assistance can help your small business.

 
           
   
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