The Australian Chamber of Commerce & IndustryACCI is here to help support the Australian business community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound and far-reaching effect on the national business community. Many businesses are explicitly shut or have zero business; others are being forced to adapt, from providing new services and remote work environments. This website will be updated regularly to provide up-to-date resources and information, including guides to navigate temporary legislation and new employment frameworks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What support can I get from the Government to deal with the impact of COVID-19?
The Federal and State governments have made a number of announcements in recent weeks in relation to economic stimulus packages available to assist businesses and individuals with the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These announcements provide welcome relief to many businesses and their employees across the country but carry with them many nuances and some complexity. To assist you in navigating through the raft of measures released to date, we have compiled a guide to government financial assistance.
Government assistance on the Treasury website
How does the JobKeeper Program work?
The JobKeeper Program provides wage subsidises to qualifying employers who continue to pay the wages of their eligible employees. After paying wages, employers who qualify will be reimbursed a flat rate of $1,500 (before tax) by the ATO for each eligible employee per fortnight. The JobKeeper Program will run until 27 September 2020. To assist you in navigating through the JobKeeper Program, we have put together a simple guide answering all the questions about eligibility, the payment process, and the Fair Work changes for employers and employees on JobKeeper.
View the JobKeeper guide here
My business isn’t eligible for JobKeeper what other options are available?
In many situations a business may not be eligible (for example because you don’t yet meet the turnover test or your staff don’t meet the eligibility test). In these cases, employers may seek to renegotiate their arrangements with their employees, vary their enterprise agreement or seek to make an agreement with all or some employees to take a period of leave. Businesses may also be able to get relief where their employees are covered by one of the Modern Awards which have been temporarily varied to provide relief due to COVID-19 such as under the Restaurant Industry Award. For further details on any of these options we have creatd an Employer Guide to COVID-19.
View the employer guide here
How have landlord and tenant rights changes during COVID-19?
The Federal Government has introduced a new Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies intended to aid the management of cash flow for SME tenants and landlords. The Code includes a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies where the tenant is an eligible business for the purpose of the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper program. It also outlines 14 leasing principles to be applied on a case-by-case basis to each temporary arrangement. The Code applies from 3 April and more clarity will be provided when it is legislated by each State and Territory.
View the code here
Connect with your State or Territory Chamber
CBC is keeping members up to date with the latest information and how to respond as a business, particularly when it comes to work health and safety and employment obligations. If you’re a member and you need guidance on managing your employees during this critical time, call 1300 277 881. For more general support, call 02 6247 4199.
CCIWA has a dedicated website and assistance lines for Westeran Australian businesses. While each business faces its own challenges, some key considerations can help build your company’s resilience and protect your community. CCIWA is updating this website regularly with a range of practical resources to help you navigate the situation.
Businesses can now call a Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 for the latest information on the COVID-19 response, how this affects businesses, how to keep their workplace safe and advice on how to plan for dealing with the current situation and anticipate likely developments. More information can be found on their COVID-19 Resources for Business webpage.
Business NSW has a number of COVID-19-related resources including a COVID-19 Updates blog as well as a phone advice line, 13 26 96 to help your business understand the financial support available as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Operating 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday AEST to support your enquiries.
The Chamber of Commerce Norther Territory have been working with the Northern Territory Government to help Territory businesses amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Check their COVID-19 Business Support webpage or Facebook page for regular updates. CCNT have also set up a COVID-19 NT Business Support Hotline, call 08 8982 8188 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
The TCCI has a dedicated hotline for all tasmanian businesses during the pandemic, including free advice to manage workplace relations obligations call 1300 559 112. Your calls will be used to identify areas of need that are not currently serviced. Visit their COVID-19 Business Resources webpage for more information. How is COVID-19 affecting
your business in? Tell them via their survey for Tasmanian businesses.