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Tuesday, 12 May 2020
Issue 25.0 

Members may be relieved that Premier Daniel Andrews has finally announced details of the easing of some coronavirus restriction; however, we are all aware it is far from business as usual.  The VACC website provides a comprehensive summary of the announcement, along with useful links. You can access this information HERE.

I hope you have also seen some of the advertisements VACC has been running as part of our Auto is Open campaign.  Feel free to contact VACC to find out how you can get in involved.  More information and downloadable materials are available HERE.


1.  INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

JobKeeper Payment Guide – Edition 7

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has released its 7th Edition of the JobKeeper Payment – Employer Guide.

The seventh edition has been updated to include the amendments contained in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Alternative Decline in Turnover Test Rules 2020 and the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Amendment Rules (No. 2) 2020, as well as updated ATO guidance. 

Most notably this includes:  

  • Details about the new notification requirement to confirm that all employees of a participating entity must be given the opportunity to agree to be nominated and an explanation about this operates for employers who have already notified employees prior to these changes. 
     
  • The various alternative decline in turnover tests, which provide alternative bases for a class of entities to satisfy the decline in turnover test for the purposes of seeking to be a qualifying employer for JobKeeper payments, when there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period in 2019. 
     
  • The modified decline in turnover test for certain group structures, where staff are employed through a special purpose entity, rather than the operating entity.
     
  • The altered eligibly for 16 and 17 year olds. 


As always, please contact Andrea Chwalko for any assistance relating to JobKeeper or other government support packages achwalko@vacc.com.au.

You can download the Guide HERE.

New JobKeeper checklists and template letters

VACC and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have drafted a set of checklists and accompanying template letters to assist employers utilise the temporary JobKeeper Fair Work Act changes with ensuring that any JobKeeper enabling direction/request given to an employee is compliant with the law and has effect.

This should provide some assistance due to Government not having issued any prescribed forms for the notice required to be given by an employer before issuing a JobKeeper Enabling Direction.

Templates:

  • JobKeeper Enabling Direction Checklist & Template Letters – Duties – Click HERE.
     
  • JobKeeper Enabling Request Checklist & Template Letter - Alter Days Time of work – Click HERE.
     
  • JobKeeper Enabling Request Checklist & Template Letter - Annual Leave – Click HERE.
     
  • JobKeeper Enabling Stand Down Direction Checklist & Template Letters - Reduced Hours Days – Click HERE.


VACC also released a bulletin with these templates that can be accessed HERE.

2.  GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Roadmap – Federal Government’s three step plan


Late last week, National Cabinet agreed on a three-step plan to bring Australia back to a COVID-safe economy and society by July this year.

The PM made it clear that the pace and specific nature of changes will be a decision of the states and territories and they will "cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances".  It was stressed that there should be no expectation of step one starting on day one, unless states or territories are indeed already there.

Step one enables greater connection with friends and family (gatherings of 10 people in businesses and public places), step two allows for larger sized gatherings of up to 20 people, with step three looking to allow gatherings of up to 100 people.

From a travel restrictions perspective, step one will consider local and regional travel restrictions easing, step two some interstate travel and step three consideration of Cross-Tasman, pacific-island and international student travel.

The National Cabinet will review the progress of the plan every three weeks and make any changes as needed based on data and medical advice. 

COVIDSafe App

Just over 5.3 million people have now downloaded the COVIDSafe app.  VACC supports the download of the app, which works towards business and society returning to normal as soon as possible.

3.  NEWS

IR deal altered as car sales plummet

An "unprecedented slide" in car sales had plunged the vehicle industry into crisis, with employers warning of business closures and job losses.  The Fair Work Commission on Monday took into account the warning as it approved an agreement between employers and unions to change the vehicle industry award during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read the full article in The Australian
HERE.

Coronavirus: Door not shut on extending jobless aid, says Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison has left the door open to overhauling the $130bn JobKeeper scheme contingent on the nation's economic recovery, as new forecasts indicate one million Australians were forced out of jobs last month.  Ahead of Treasury finalising its review into the delivery of the wage subsidy scheme by June, the Prime Minister said the government would consider making adjustments to JobKeeper payments where necessary.

You can read the full article in The Australian
HERE.


4.  RESOURCES

A reminder that the following agencies provide useful, up-to-date information:


5.  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.