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Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Issue 31.0 

1.  INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Important message to businesses who are not eligible for Job Keeper

VACC sent out a bulletin on 15 May 2020 to members advising that a new Schedule I – Award Flexibility during the COVID – 19 Pandemic, has been inserted in the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 (VRSR Award) to assist member businesses who are not eligible for JobKeeper to utilise a range of award flexibilities during the pandemic. The Schedule was approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWO) as it was recognised that sectors of the automotive industry have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

The FWC inserted the new Schedule in the VMRS Award on a temporary basis, which is operative only between 11 May 2020 to 30 June 2020. However, this time frame can be extended if it can be demonstrated that businesses in the repair, services and retail sector continue to be adversely affected by the pandemic and are utilising the flexibilities set out in the Schedule.

The Schedule only applies to:

  • businesses who are not eligible for JobKeeper, and
  • non-eligible employees (i.e. employees employed after 1 March 2020) employed by a business qualified to receive the JobKeeper payment, and
  • businesses covered by the VRSR Award.

Award flexibilities

The Schedule allows for variation to following award provisions:


Member survey

VACC is seeking member input via a very short survey. The data collected will assist with VACC’s advocacy to provide businesses some award flexibilities beyone 30 June 2020.

The survey link is HERE and is open until Monday, 15 June 2020.

If you have any questions or would like to have a more detailed discussion, please contact bchesterman@vacc.com.au or 03 98291122.

Any personal information provided in the survey will remain strictly confidential.


JobKeeper –  Member reminder for accurate record keeping

The Australian Financial Review has reported a Senate inquiry is set to be held to determine whether, in an effort to promote transparency and accountability,  a list of companies accessing the JobKeeper program should be made publicly accessible.

The push comes after the AFP raided a Melbourne bed-manufacturer last week to investigate allegations that the company intentionally depressed monthly revenue in order to qualify for the $70 billion program.

Members can read more HERE.

2.  VACC ADVOCACY

Enhanced Instant Asset Write-off stimulus extension welcomed


VACC and the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) have made representations for an extension to the Federal Government’s Enhanced Instant Asset Write Off stimulus.  VACC is pleased to announce that in response to our advocacy, the Morrison Coalition Government has agreed to extend the initiative to 31 December 2020.  A major win for members.

Government and officials, including the Treasurer’s Office, Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit and the Australian Tax Office were provided information on production, distribution and delivery delays being experienced across several major automotive industries including new car and farm machinery retailing, as well as product suppliers for other auto industries.

VACC thanks the extensive work undertaken by MTAA CEO, Mr Richard Dudley on the network’s behalf and members who assisted with data and representations to the Federal Government.

Read the official media release
HERE.

Read the Treasurer’s official media release HERE.

3.  WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY

Updated information for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning


New information has been published about Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems.  It includes information on managing risks to health and safety from HVAC systems, for example, when restarting systems that have been temporarily shut down.

For more information and resources, go to the Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Information for workplaces web page.

Health advice for employees or members who attended the Black Lives Matter Protests

Commonwealth Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth is urging people who attended the recent protests in Melbourne to take a COVID-19 test if they have any symptoms after the event.

Further, Australian Medical Association president Dr Tony Bartone suggests attendees consider a 14-day self-isolation out of an "abundance of caution" for the health of their communities.

For more information on the health advice issued click HERE.

4.  GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW - COVIDSafe Plan requirements for Victoria (as of 1st June)

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has compiled a comprehensive summary of all new state and territory requirements relating to a COVIDSafe Plan. Click HERE for Victoria’s summary. 

Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia: Headline Measures Factsheet

The following Factsheet provides the most up-to-date headline measures announced by the National Cabinet (as of 4 June).

Access full document HERE.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has released a COVID-19 Recovery Plan, recommending a suite of reforms to support small businesses in the post-COVID recovery phase.

It details a number of changes to improve the legal, regulatory and compliance environment for small businesses including:

  • abolishing Fringe Benefits Tax for small business
  • creating a federal small business claims tribunal with ASBFEO to provide triage services
  • permanent small business instant asset tax writeoff of $150k
  • introducing a Small Business Award
  • legislating 30-day payment terms for small businesses
  • creating a small business procurement panel for any Government contract under $10 million.


Read the full plan HERE.

5.  MEMBER SERVICES

Grow with Google

Grow with Google OnAir will be live streaming new content for small business owners, jobseekers and educators from 9th-18th June.  Register HERE and learn how to reach customers online, adjust to remote work & more.


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.