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Thursday, 30 April 2020
Issue 22.0 

As we approach the end of week six living with coronavirus restrictions, we remain hopeful we will begin to see an easing of restrictions soon.

In the meantime, we understand members are doing their best to stay afloat and keep their doors open.  To help members do just that, we provide several updates below on recent government announcements, additional information on JobKeeper and a summary of the advocacy work we are constantly undertaking on our members’ behalf.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has also released several, key resources of value to members.  In particular, they’ve recently published their COVID-19 Business Conditions Survey Report.  This takes into account a broad cross section of businesses to assess the impact of COVID-19 on business and involve 1,497 businesses across all states and territories.  I encourage you to have read of the report.

As always, please contact the VACC team with any questions or concerns.  We’re here to help.


1.  INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

JobKeeper Update


In Tuesday’s Update VACC provided additional detail on recent JobKeeper announcements. We hope you found that helpful.

To assist members further, we include information regarding timelines for enrolments and other administration.

The first two JobKeeper fortnights are:

  • JobKeeper Fortnight 1 - 30 March to 12 April
  • JobKeeper Fortnight 2 - 13 April to 26 April


What you need to do:

Pay your eligible employee a minimum of $1500 (before tax) for each of JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 before 8 May.

Complete the ATO online forms

  1. ENROL
    Complete Step 1 – for JobKeeper fortnights 1 and 2 (and May fortnights). Enrolment is open now and you must enrol before 31 May.
  2. IDENTIFY
    Complete Step 2 – available from 4 May once you are successfully enrolled and must be completed before the 31 May. You will need to identify the eligible employees and/or the business participant for who you are claiming the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
  3. MONTLY DECLARATION
    Complete Step 3– confirm your eligible employees have been paid and your turnover before the 31 May.


Employee Nomination Form and Eligible Business Participant Form

The employee nomination form is a requirement for an employee to be eligible. To claim the JobKeeper wage subsidy you MUST have received a completed eligible employee nomination form for each eligible employee and/or the nomination form for the business participant before you complete step 2 and step 3.

You may decide to confirm employee eligibility prior to paying your employees and may request and complete the eligible employee nomination form prior to the time that you complete step 2 and step 3.

The eligible employee nomination form is available HERE.

The nomination form for the business participant is available HERE.


Calendar of important dates coming up
First two JobKeeper fortnights:

The payment dates for all following JobKeeper fortnights are:

For more specific and up to date information on how to Enrol, Identify and Declare, and key dates, please see the How to Guides on the ATO website HERE.

The VACC website also provides ongoing advice and links HERE.


2.  GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Measures Fact Sheet Updates


The main updates in this edition of the Headline Measures fact sheet are in relation to the State and Territory Governments announcing jurisdictional specific changes to, or easing of restrictions. Updated as at 27th April.

You can download the Fact Sheet HERE.


VET provider Fact Sheet released

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has updated the factsheet for VET providers to include new information about how VET providers can provide feedback about challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19. 

You can access the updated fact sheet on the department’s website HERE.

For further health advice, or to register for the Infection Control Training, please visit the Department of Health website HERE.



3.  ADVOCACY

Second VACC submission regarding threshold criteria and staff level criteria for franchises


VACC has delivered its second submission 'The case for exemptions from the threshold and staff criteria in the Victorian Govt COVID-19 relief packages for automotive dealer franchises and LMCTS' to the Victorian Government. This follows the VACC’s first submission, which was included in Tuesday’s Update).

Key recommendations include:

  1. That the Victorian Government exempt automotive franchise dealers and all Licensed Motor Car Traders (LMCT) from the $3 million annual wage threshold to enable those businesses to have their payroll tax for the 2019-2020 financial year waived, be eligible for future payroll tax deferrals and refund of payroll tax already remitted.
  2. That the Victorian Government exempt all automotive dealers and LMCTS from the less than $650 thousand payroll criteria applied to the Victorian Government Business Support Fund.
  3. That the Victorian Government exempts all automotive dealers and LMCTs from the turnover threshold criteria associated with the Victorian Government Rent Assistance SME Commercial Leasing Principles during COVID-19.
  4. That the Victorian Government extend the Land Tax deferral and 25 per cent Land Tax Refund for all automotive dealers and LMCTs.
  5. That the Victorian Government assists LMCTs in the sale of vehicle by introducing legislation that will allow for LMCTs to consign a vehicle from the member of the public.
  6. That the Victorian Government assist LMCTs and fleet owners (car rental etc.) by allowing for a voluntary suspension of vehicle registration for a 3-month period.
  7. Abolish Super Luxury Duty.

You can download the submission HERE.


4.  MEMBER SERVICES

New Guide: Government Assistance


VACC has previously released a list of available support measures for business – which is available on our website HERE.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has also provided a comprehensive guide to the various financial and regulatory relief governments are providing, which also addresses a number of frequently asked questions. 

You can access the guide below.

As always, members are encouraged to contact Andrea Chwalko for further assistance achwalko@vacc.com.au.

5.  RESEARCH

COVID-19 Business Conditions Survey Report


The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) surveyed a broad cross-section of its membership to assess the impact of COVID-19 on business and to gauge the effectiveness of Government’s support and stimulus measures in helping businesses through the crisis. The survey was undertaken between 30 March and 17 April, and involved 1,497 businesses across all states and territories.

Key findings:

  • Over one-third of businesses surveyed have experienced an 80% reduction in revenue relative to what they would normally expect this time of the year.
  • Half have experienced over a 50% reduction. 
  • Businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of COVID-19, despite the range of Government support and stimulus measures announced. 
  • The JobKeeper Payment scheme, cashflow assistance payments and administrative relief from tax obligations were considered most beneficial, broader business investment measures were only considered of moderate benefit.
  • Despite sharply declining revenue, many businesses are adapting their business operations, with 31% expanding their on-line presence, 25% changing their mode of delivery, and 23% diversifying into new product lines and services. 

You can read the full report 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.