COVID-19 Resource Hub

A central resource for Businesses & Individuals

In the current uncertain environment surrounding COVID-19, we have set up this Hub of resources to support our clients and team members manage the rapid change that is sweeping through our economy, communities and businesses. This Hub is a live resource that is being frequently updated – you can see a summary of the latest updates in Notifications. Aside from useful links and articles, we will also be updating with tools to support you during this unprecedented time.  You can share your comments on what you’d like to see on our Hub, as well as feedback with the Get In Touch button, below. 

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Quick Links

 

Latest Notifications

View all notifications

 

Australian Resources

National Coronavirus Helpline

Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 
 

Australian health advice:

Website for free general Australian health advice. Includes easy to understand facts and procedures: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

 

National status, government response alerts and media releases:  https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

 

Australian travel restrictions:

Comprehensive advisory including definitions of who can enter Australia, applications for exemptions, media alerts: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

 

General travel related updates and information: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19-australian-travellers

 

State Health Advisory

For up-to-date information regarding reported cases, investigations & measures per State.

Australian Capital Territory

https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/

 

New South Wales

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-latest.aspx

 

Northern Territory

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

 

Queensland

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/current-status-and-contact-tracing-alerts

 

South Australia

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+topics+a+-+z/covid+2019/latest+updates/latest+updates+-+covid-19

 

Northern Territory 

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

 
New Zealand Resources

New Zealand health advice:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

 

New Zealand travel restrictions:

https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/news/novel-coronavirus-china-covid-19

 

Global Resources

WHO (World Health Organization):

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Employer Toolkit Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our HR Consultancy, Perks People Solutions, has developed an easy to use Employer’s Handbook, which addresses the most common concerns and considerations for Australian workplaces during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here:

COVID-19 Employer Toolkit

Employer Template for Work From Home Policy

Download a customisable policy template here.

Personal Mental Health Resources

 

Healthy Workplace Support

 

General Community Wellbeing

A selection of resources to help parents & carers to communicate and support child mental health. Specific resources for COVID-19 communications with children are also available here:

https://emergingminds.com.au/

Coronavirus Assistance Available

To view your bank’s response measures to COVID-19, click on their logo

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Co insights on the varied impacts and aspects to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis

 

Articles

SA Government Announce Second Stimulus Response

SA Government Announce Second Stimulus Response

27/3/2020

The South Australian State Government has just announced a second stimulus package, totalling $1 billion to support...
Read more.

Additional SME loan support package set to be unveiled

Additional SME loan support package set to be unveiled

26/3/2020

Banking & Finance

Following an announcement earlier this week by Australia’s Big Banks of a new loan scheme to assist...
Read more.

Perks Coronavirus Update 4 (26 March 2020)

Perks Coronavirus Update 4 (26 March 2020)

26/3/2020

From our Managing Director & CEO (originally sent by email)

As mentioned in our last update, we have been working around the clock to launch a Perks ...
Read more.


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Selected Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

View All FAQs by Category

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • Their business has a turnover of less than $1B and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
  • Their business has a turnover of $1B or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and
  • The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

The payments will commence from 1 May 2020, but be backdated to 30 March 2020, and be paid for 6 months. 

It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the Job Keeper Payment.

To receive Job Keeper Payments, employers must:

 

 

  • Provide information to the ATO regarding their eligible employees.  Eligible employees are those that:
    • Have been employed as at 1 March 2020, including those that have since been stood down (or rehired after 1 March).
    • Are full time, part time or casual (a casual employee must have been employed for over 12 months to 1 March 2020).
    • Are at least 16 years of age.
    • Are an Australian citizen or certain visa holder.
    • Are not in receipt of a Job Seeker Payment from another employer.

(The ATO will use data from one-touch payroll to populate employees for the employer in the system)

 

  • Ensure each employee receives $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).  For employees:
    • Earning less than $1,500 a fortnight, they must be paid $1,500 a fortnight.
    • Earning more than $1,500 a fortnight, the employer may provide them with a top-up.

 

  • Notify every eligible employee that they are receiving the Job Keeper Payment.

 

  • Continue to provide the ATO with all information monthly.

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s TFN and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.

People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

Unless a specific exclusion isn’t applied to your policy as mentioned above, an Income Protection payment would be considered if you have contracted the virus and meet the terms and conditions that apply to your policy.

It depends on when your policy commenced.

For any new life insurance policy issued after 1 March 2020, there may be an exclusion imposed under your policy if your occupation is of a high-risk nature (i.e. front line medical workers who have a high risk of exposure to the virus).

Please check the wording of your policy document to determine if an exclusion exists but if you’re still unsure, contact your Perks life risk specialist advisor.

For any policy issued prior to this date, there are no specific exclusions for COVID-19.

As the banks grapple with the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and businesses we are seeing high wait periods with all the banks. The principle focus for banks at this point in time is assisting their customers who are impacted. Loan applications already ‘in the system’ (both residential and business) are being delayed. We continue to work very closely with the banks for all our clients. If you want us to take a look at your loan, you can expect the initial review and feedback from the Perks Finance team to take up to 5 business days.

There are integrity measures in order to attain the cash flow boosts. The relevant employer must satisfy the following:

  • The employer must have held an ABN on 12 March 2020; and
  • The employer must have either:
  • Derived assessable income from a business in the 2018-19 income year; or
  • Made one or more supplies for consideration in the course of carrying on an enterprise within Australia in tax periods commencing after 1 July 2018 and ending before 12 March 2020; and
  • The Commissioner was notified of the income or supplies before 12 March 2020 (i.e. the income or supplies were appropriately returned).

See also the next question.

There is an anti-avoidance measure in the Bill designed to deny the cash flow boosts where the entity (or an associate or agent of an entity) has engaged in a scheme for the sole or dominant purpose of seeking to make the entity entitled to the cash flow boost or increase the entitlement to the cash flow boost.

All banks are offering various kinds of support with the majority offering Small and Medium Enterprises the opportunity to do one of two things:

  • convert Principal & Interest (P&I) facilities to Interest Only (IO) for up to 6 months; or,
  • defer P&I repayments on your Business, Asset Finance or Equipment Loans for up to 6 months.

Under these exceptional circumstances, no – we will not charge you. Our primary concern is to support our clients to be as equipped as possible to weather the current economic environment brought on by COVID-19. Even if we do not currently act as your Finance Broker, we can still work with your bank on your behalf. Before we can do so, we would need to review your circumstances and then we would let you know if we think we can be of assistance.

Each bank has a different eligibility criteria to access this support. Generally, this will apply to Small and Medium Enterprises with total lending limits up to $3m, less than $10m turnover and less than 100 employees. We suggest that  you support any request with an explanation as to how your business has been impacted by the COVID—19 pandemic, explaining what costs you have managed to contain or remove and, if possible, assess the impact that the pandemic is likely to have on your revenue and cash flow. If you can provide a 3 – 6 month forecast to support your request this would be very helpful and may speed up the process. If you are a current client of Perks, no matter what services you currently use, we can work with your bank on your behalf.

Most banks have been contacting customers direct to explain what is on offer. If you are confident in negotiating directly with your bank, you should proceed. If you are not confident, you can talk with our Perks Finance Team (either direct or via your Perks Adviser); they will be able to advise and/or work with your bank on your behalf.

There are no grouping provisions from our review of the Bills and Explanatory Memorandum.  Again however, there are anti-avoidance provisions designed to prevent the artificial obtaining of increased or additional boost payments.

Boost payments will be applied against any existing ATO debt, so some employers may not obtain actual payment (refund) of the boost.  The payments are credits in the activity statement system, so they will apply against any existing liabilities.

Yes, it applies for new assets only. That is:

  • No other entity has held the asset other than as trading stock;
  • No other entity has claimed depreciation deductions with respect to the asset; and
  • No other entity has installed the asset ready for use in a business and the asset has only been installed and ready for use from 12 March 2020 and before 1 July 2020.

Generally, a depreciating asset is a qualifying asset if, between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2021:

  • The entity starts to hold the asset; and
  • The asset was first used, or
  • Installed ready for use for a taxable purpose.

An asset held by an entity is not a qualifying asset if at any time before 12 March 2020 the entity:

  • Entered into a contract where they would hold the asset;
  • Started to construct the asset; or
  • Started to hold the asset in some other way.

Generally, an entity is eligible for accelerated depreciation deductions if the:

  • Income year is the year that the entity starts to use the asset, or has it installed ready for use for a taxable purpose;
  • Entity has an aggregated turnover of less than $500M for the income year; and
  • Asset is a qualifying asset.

An asset will not be eligible for accelerated depreciation where the:

  • Asset is not a new asset.
  • Decline in value of the asset has already been deducted under the instant asset write-off rules.
  • Decline in value of the asset is determined under subdivision 40-E (low-value and software development pools).
  • Decline in value of the asset is determined under subdivision 40-F (primary production assets).
  • Decline in value of the asset is determined under subdivision 40-G to 40-K (pooled amounts).

The measure does not apply to assets where commitments to hold, construct or use the asset were entered into before 12 March 2020. The incentive is intended to stimulate new investment rather than benefiting investment that has already been committed.

No, the instant asset write off is for all assets. 

Note that the instant asset write-off will revert back to assets valued at $1,000 from 1 July 2020 and only be available for Small Business Entities.

 

Key Contacts

HR Consulting, Finance & Banking, Tax Consulting

Cecilia White

Cecilia White

With a background in legal practice, Cecilia has developed strong technical expertise in all matters relating to workplace law, including awards, contracts, disciplinary matters, investigations, equal opportunity and HR policy development.

Bruce Debenham

Bruce Debenham

Bruce provides clients with tailored banking and finance solutions to best meet their business and personal requirements.

Neil Oakes

Neil Oakes

Providing tax consulting advice to small, medium and large enterprises, with specific focus in the aged-care and property industries.

Get in touch.

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