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COVID-19 UPDATES

Planning checklists to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe

It is important to have a COVIDSafe plan to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free. The Federal Government has created a checklist which is in three section: keeping people safe; adapting my business and accessing support and assistance. Select button below for details and to download the plan.

National industry-specific work health and safety guidance and tools

There is now a nationally-consistent, industry-specific work health and safety guidance on COVID-19, accessible via a central hub provided by Sae Work Australia. Australian workplaces will be able to use this central hub of WHS guidance and tools to help manage health and safety risks posed by COVID-19

Backing Business Investments (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

SME Loan Guarantee Scheme

The Federal Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise’s (SME), including not-for-profit (turnover of less than $50 million) for new unsecured loans to be used for cash flow. The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six-month repayment holiday. There are no fees involve in submitting an application or for participating in the Scheme. Maximum loan $250,000 per borrower. The Scheme will be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 June 2021

Loans for Australian Exporters

Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will now have access to business-saving loans between $250,000 and $50 million under a new $500 million capital facility to be administered by Export Finance Australia. The loans are available to established and previously profitable exporters who, due to COVID-19, are unable to gain finance from commercial sources.

Changes to Annual Leave in Fair Work Awards

​The determinations inserted a temporary new Schedule X into these 99 awards, which provided 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave and the ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agreed. Schedule X in each award was initially due to end on 30 June 2020.

On 30 June 2020, the Commission extended Schedule X in some awards. The current end date for the extended unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave provisions for most awards is 31 December 2021.

 

ATO – deferred GST on imports

As an importer, the deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme allows you to defer payment of GST on all taxable imports into Australia. You need to apply to the ATO for approval.

Agriculture & Fisheries: International Freight Support (IFAM) measures

Through the IFAM, the government is partially offsetting the cost of airfreight – reducing airfreight and freight forwarding costs for exporters and ensuring you can get your produce on flights and to internal customers quickly.

In October 2020, the Australian Government committed a further $317.1 million to extend IFAM until the middle of 2021. This is in addition to the $241.9 million injection announced in July 2020

To access the IFAM you must register your interest

Agricultural seasonal employers must have a health management plan

Agricultural seasonal worker employers, transporters and accommodation providers must have a health management plan in place. Employers must comply with stringent record keeping on the health status of their workforce

AMSA – All National Law Exceptions have been extended until 30Jun25

AMSA have extended existing exemptions to provide seafarers and operators with continuity and certainty.

If you are currently operating under an exemption that expires on the 30 June 2020, it has now been automatically extended for 5 years, until 30 June 2025.  

You do not need to re-apply to AMSA, if your approval was in force on 30 June 2020, you can still operate under the exemption. The exemption will be automatically extended.

See the full list of exemptions extended and key changes made by clicking link below

 

TAFE Covid Safe FREE micro credentials

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE Queensland, in conjunction with the Queensland Government, is offering a range of education and training to support individuals, and small, medium and large businesses.

COVID Safe for Dining In & COVID Safe for Beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, tattoo parlours and spas.

Click on link for details and to apply

Free Online Training for Small Business

If your business has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can access a free online library of course tailored to small business.

Course areas include:

  • Foundation business skills
  • Leading a successful business
  • Connecting businesses and customers
  • Adaption and digital skills.

The online training is being provided through GO1 and its online learning platform, in partnership with the Queensland Government, to support you and your employees recover from COVID-19 and enable future growth.

Access is free to Queensland small businesses. Registration is required, including details to verify your business.

Payroll Tax exemption on JobKeeper payments

The  is not liable for Queensland payroll tax.

Example

Paula receives JobKeeper payments of $1,500 per fortnight for each of her employees Adam and Michelle.

  • Adam’s wages are $1,500 per fortnight, which are fully subsidised by the JobKeeper payment. Paula does not include this $1,500 payment as wages for payroll tax purposes.
  • Michelle’s wages are $2,000 per fortnight, which includes the $1,500 JobKeeper payment and $500 in ordinary wages. Paula must include the $500 of wages for payroll tax purposes, but not the $1,500 JobKeeper payment.

The QLD Small Business Commissioner role established to help Small Business with leases during COVID-19

The Queensland Small Business Commissioner was temporarily established until 31 December 2020 under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020  and is now in the process of transitioning into a permanent service.

The Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (OQSBC) provides information and advocacy support to small businesses, and informal resolution and mediation of coronavirus (COVID-19) affected small business leases.

What the OQSBC does

The key functions of the OQSBC include:

  • providing information and advisory services to small businesses in Queensland about matters relevant to them
  • assisting small businesses with informal resolution of COVID-19 small business leasing disputes. This includes providing initial information and advisory services, and pre-mediation services to connect tenants and landlords to try to identify solutions prior to progressing to mediation
  • administering a small business lease dispute mediation process (where information or pre-mediation support has not resolved the dispute), before progressing to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or the courts for dispute resolution.

Employing workers in agribusiness and commercial fisheries during COVID-19

The Queensland Government has introduced measures to help agribusiness and commercial fisheries access seasonal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensures seasonal work can continue so Queensland’s food supplies are secure while meeting coronavirus (COVID-19) public health directions.

Queensland agribusiness and commercial fisheries rely on workers throughout the year to plant, harvest and carry out maintenance. Select link for more details

Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response

The Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response provides a suite of information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closure or redundancy programs.
Assistance under the scheme includes: engaging with administrators to offer worker transition scheme assistance, coordinating assistance from government departments; monitoring progress on payment of all entitlements; where possible, assisting retrenched workers on where they might find new employment and advising of government training schemes if new skills are required for their next job; and assisting businesses affected by changes in the supply chain.

For further assistance, contact EconomicRecovery@dsdmip.qld.gov.au

Accelerated asset maintenance works

$2 million in accelerated asset maintenance works to help keep businesses and local people employed on local projects. Businesses that haven’t yet done so are urged to register with Council’s supplier marketplaces through the supplier portal. Council will give preference to projects that use local procurement and local suppliers.

CCIQ Free Workplace Policies & Templates

Free policies and templates, including working from home and business continuity, to help your business be practically prepared for the impacts of COVID-19. Normally valued at $42, you will receive the entire pack for free. The pack includes: working from home overview; home workplace inspection; working from home agreement; health and safety workplace policy; unpaid leave policy; workplace hygiene policy; and business continuity template.

COVID-19 Business Packages/Support

Select the TABS to view what business packages/support is available at each level of Government and from the Private Section (Other).
You can also use the QLD Government Business Finder Tool (below) to view what is available from the Federal and State Government for your type of business.

Please note: details on all government assistance packages is changing rapidly. We are updating this page as new information comes to hand. We are also sending an email every Monday with the latest updates. If you wish to receive these email updates please subscribe below.

Business Assistance Finder Tool

Select your Business size (from zero to 200+), select your industry and this tool will show you what QLD and Australian Government packages/support is available for your business.