Business guide to Coronavirus

JobKeeper payment: practical things to do while you wait

The Federal Government recently announced the JobKeeper payment plan as part of an unprecedented $130 billion stimulus package. The purpose of the subsidy is to help businesses keep their employees and be able to quickly re-start once the COVID-19 health crisis is over.

When will employers see the JobKeeper payment?

The first payment is expected to go out in the first week of May and backdated to 30 March. The subsidy is a temporary measure and will last for six months. 

For some businesses, it may feel like time is running out and to help you get through this waiting period, here are some things you can do for your business in the meantime:

Check out grants available in your industry

Looking for funding to support your business? Check out Business Australia’s free Business Grant Finder. You can find out in just 10 minutes what grants you could be eligible for from a range of over 1,500 government grants worth almost $40 billion.

To start browsing grants, login to your Business Australia account. If you’re not yet a member, you can sign up here for free.

Check your overheads such as your energy bill 

Your business could compare, switch and save with our free energy comparison service. Simply enter your details online and in under 10 minutes on the phone an energy expert will explain your options for an alternative energy provider. If you decide to switch, all the paperwork will be taken care of.

To access these benefits, make sure you’re Business Australia member. If you’re not yet a member, you can sign up here for free.

JobKeeper Payment Package Q&A (Free)

This on-demand session provides answers around the JobKeeper package to understand what it means for affected business and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join as a free member now to view the session and download the presentation slides.

Already a member? Get started

Keep your HR policies in check

COVID-19 has become a mass experiment in working from home for many businesses. It has also led to a surge in demand for video-conferencing apps and collaboration tools. Make sure you have all the necessary policies in place so that employees understand their rights and responsibilities, including technical support and other facilities available when working from home. 

To help ensure you have the right policies and procedures in place, you can download helpful resources like Business Australia's free Employer Toolkit, which includes:

● Leave policy 

● Letter to employee advising stand down 

● Mental Health Policy 

● Working from Home Checklist 

● Working from Home Policy 

● Ergonomics Checklist.

HR Advance has other helpful policies such as: 

Social media policy

Email, internet, computer system policy.

You can explore a rent reduction

Many small businesses are facing a time when they may not be able to make their rental payments. 

To help businesses get through this tough period, we have created two free downloadable templates if you wanted to explore a commercial rent reduction. For more information, check out this FAQ to help commercial tenants navigate the complex world of tenancy legislation.

Build or nurture your business support

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. During this time, it’s important to reach out and connect with others. This is a good time to refresh your LinkedIn profile or organise virtual ‘coffee catch-ups’ with someone you know and whose opinion you value.

Share ideas and seek solutions. Talking through challenges can help you gain a different perspective on your own business, and open up new opportunities.

And lastly, remember to register your intent for the JobKeeper payment

Business owners need to:

register an intention to apply on the ATO website

● provide information to the ATO on eligible employees

● provide monthly updates to the ATO

● notify all eligible employees they will receive the payment.

If you are self-employed you must also register your interest with the ATO. You will need to provide: 

● your ABN

● your tax file number

● supporting documents that demonstrate your business has seen or will see a 30% decrease in revenue. 

Remember to communicate clearly to your employees during this time. They are not required to apply for the payment like other welfare payments (e.g. JobSeeker). The JobKeeper payment is to be paid directly to employees through your payroll system. 

Applications for the JobKeeper payment will close on 31 May 2020.

Latest news

Stay up to date with the most recent COVID-19 announcement relating to your business here. You can also explore our free Business Guide to Coronavirus for dedicated advice, support and solutions to help your business through these uncertain times. 

Catherine Ngo

Senior Editor and Content Writer, Business Australia

Catherine is passionate about unravelling the latest news and insights to help entrepreneurs, small business owners and employers.