With so many Australians’ jobs impacted by COVID-19, it’s important to understand what support is available to you and those in need.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR JOB?
Depending on your type of employment, different levels of protection exist to safeguard your job now and into the future. For permanent full-time and part-time workers, your employer can temporarily stand-down or even make you permanently redundant due to slowdowns in trade. It’s important to clarify your current employment situation and the terms of payments and notice periods with your employer in either event.
Regardless of which category you fall into, the Australian government has increased the levels of financial support available to those left without work as a result of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Supplement provides an additional payment of $550 per fortnight to new and existing income support recipients (available from April 27th for a 6 month period). Along with the existing JobSeeker payments, individuals can now receive a total of $1,100 a fortnight as a result of these changes.
To find out more about these changes, check out the Sydney Morning Herald’s explainer guide here.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR CENTRELINK PAYMENTS?
The JobSeeker Payment and additional Coronavirus Supplement is available to all Australian citizens and residents aged between 22 and 66 who are looking for work. In light of these challenging times, the usual liquid asset test waiting period has been suspended (meaning you’ll still be eligible for payment even if you have more than $5,500 as a single or $11,000 as a couple in savings). To learn more about the JobSeeker Payment, check out The Guardian’s comprehensive Q&A article here.
WHAT IS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
The JobKeeper Payment is a new wage subsidy available to employees who have been stood down or retrenched since March 1st 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus. This payment of $1,500 a fortnight is paid to employers to keep their employees afloat, and is available for full-time and part-time workers, sole traders, not-for-profits and casuals who have worked for the same employer for the last 12 months. To find out more about the JobKeeper Payment, check out Money Magazine’s helpful guide here.
SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
With a downturn in trade, many small businesses are struggling to manage their cash flow during this time. For those businesses suffering financial distress, a moratorium has been announced that will prevent eviction for non-payment of rent across commercial tenancies.
As well as this, the government is working to support businesses by offering:
- The JobKeeper payment
- Boosting cashflow for employers
- Increasing the instant asset write-off + more
To find out more about what support is available to small business owners, visit the Australian government’s website here.
WHAT FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR SOLE TRADERS?
For those working for themselves, the government has introduced a range of new measures to support you during this difficult time. These include:
- Access to the JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight for up to 6 months
- An increased instant asset write-off
- The Backing Business Investment, a new incentive to support business investment and economic growth
- A new Coronavirus supplement to increase and accelerate income support + more
To explore the full range of support options available to sole traders, visit the Australian government website here.