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Thursday, 23 April 2020
Issue 20.0 

In Tuesday’s Update we provided additional resources to help members navigate the next phase of the JobKeeper payment –  now open to enrolments.  We understand there is a lot of information to take in, and so encourage you to reach out to our team to assist you at any stage.

If you’ve had an opportunity to read the most recent JobKeeper Employer Guide (5th Ed), there’s a helpful calendar of cut off dates and an ‘Enabling Direction’ checklist for members to utilise.  These are discussed in further segments below.

For something non JobKeeper related, I draw your attention to the segment: “Auto is open – tell your customers”.  VACC has been working hard raising awareness that ‘Auto is Open’ through a coordinated campaign and we encourage you to do the same with your customer base should you still be operating.  VACC has provided practical tips on how this can be done easily and effectively in this Update.

As always, VACC is here to help.  Please continue to reach out to the team. 


1.  INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

JobKeeper cut off dates


Members should be aware that if an employer wishes to be paid the JobKeeper payment for the first two fortnight periods between 30 March and 26 April, then the employer MUST elect to participate in the JobKeeper scheme at or before 26 April 2020.

For a fortnight period after 26 April, an employer must notify the ATO before the end of the fortnight.

To make life easier – a calendar is available inside the 5th Edition Employer Guide released on Tuesday that outlines key cut off dates.  Click on image below or HERE.

The calendar is part of ANNEXURE A – JobKeeper Calendar on pages 28-29.

Employer JobKeeper Enabling Direction Checklist

If you believe you are eligible and you are thinking about utilising the Fair Work Act changes through issuing of a JobKeeper enabling direction, please refer to the checklist below (which is also contained in Annexure B of the JobKeeper Guide, page 30). 

Update: Temporary visa holders

The Coronavirus has affected both Australian visa holders and those who are waiting to be issued their Australian visas.  The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) is responsible for immigration and customs border policy, which includes the issuing and monitoring of visa applications. 

The Department has developed a comprehensive FAQ page relating to temporary visa holders.  For members requiring further information for an employee holding a temporary visa they can visit the Department of Home Affairs FAQs page.


2.  MEMBER SERVICES

Auto is open – tell your customers


Lack of work and cashflow are likely to be serious problems for you right now.  But there are things you can do to help your situation – and they don't cost a cent. Most automotive businesses in the industry remain open (publicly held vehicle auctions are an exception) and if your business is open too then you should tell your customers about it – don't assume that they know.  Click HERE for three simple and practical tips to help you get the message out there...


3.  HEAVY AND COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

NHVR updates vehicle inspection guide as RBT rules relaxed


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR's) next step in its Covid-19 response is to grant temporary relaxation of calibration requirements for roller-brake testing (RBT) equipment.

The NHVR’s National Roller Brake Test Procedure required that machines used to conduct tests are calibrated in accordance with the manufacturers’ standards every 12 or 24 months.

Manufacturers reported difficulty in achieving some of the calibration requirements because of the current travel restrictions.

In response to this feedback, the NHVR has updated the Vehicle Standards Guides 21 – National Roller Brake Testing Procedure to ensure ongoing testing is reliable while travel restrictions are in place.

PBS Vehicle Certification and COVID-19

Vehicle Certification Rules allow, in some instances, certifiers to engage a third party to conduct the physical inspection on their behalf.  Where a third party is used as part of the certification process, the certifier remains responsible for certifications and must be in control of each certification.

The NHVR considers physical inspections carried out by the certifier to be best practice, and acknowledges that there may be some risk in engaging a third party to perform these tasks.  Where a third party is engaged to perform the inspection, the certifier must understand that they remain responsible for the certification, just as they would had they carried out the inspection themselves.

Please note: Some insurers require the certifier to be at every certification.  Certifiers are encouraged to contact their insurer to ensure they remain covered in the event of a third party inspection.

For more information see Information for PBS Assessors and Certifiers - Vehicle Certification and COVID-19.


4.  NEWS

Government looks for new tax ideas as business press for corporate cut


Cutting company taxes and increasing the GST are not in the Morrison government's plans to recover from the coronavirus, with the man appointed to guide the recovery instead pushing for fresh incentives for businesses to invest in Australia.  Within the top levels of the government there is a belief new ideas will have a better chance of winning community support rather than old ones that have dominated political debate for the past decade.

Read the full story in the Sydney Morning Herald HERE.

Coronavirus restrictions likely to be eased in reverse order, political sources say

As the nation's leaders begin charting a path out of the COVID-19 crisis — the curve having been sufficiently flattened — sources tell the ABC they're likely to wind back restrictions starting with the last ones imposed.

Read the full story on ABC Online HERE.


6.  PREVIOUS UPDATE ISSUES

You can read previous Updates of COVID-19 HERE.


Geoff Gwilym
Chief Executive Officer




Disclaimer:  The information gathered has been drawn from a number of sources and VACC strongly recommends that members revert to the primary source of information for any clarification.