The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you run a company, learn what your business can get and where to go for help
Support for employers
If you employ staff, you may be eligible for:
Temporary cash flow support
Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and the minimum payment increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments
An additional payment is also being introduced equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received. This means that eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers will be eligible. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.
The payments will only be available to active eligible employers established prior to 12 March 2020. However, charities which are registered with the Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission will be eligible regardless of when they were registered, subject to meeting other eligibility requirements. This recognises that new charities may be established in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Learn more about Boosting cash flow for employers.
Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme
The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support for these businesses. Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. This will enhance these lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit, which will result in SMEs being able to access additional funding to help support them through the upcoming months.
SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.
The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:
Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday.
The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.
Loans will be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes with the expectation that lenders will look through the cycle to sensibly take into account the uncertainty of the current economic conditions.
Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off
The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
Backing Business Investment (BBI)
A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost
Assistance to help pay the wages of apprentices or trainees
Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer.
Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).
Read more about the assistance to help pay for the wages of your apprentices or trainees.
If you employ a casual employee and they can’t work because they become sick or need to self-isolate, or their income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments.
The Government is making these payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period in certain circumstances. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help. Please see details at:
Health and safety
As an employer, you're required to ensure the health and safety of your workers. If an employee is at risk of infection from coronavirus, you should request the employee seek medical clearance from a doctor, work from home or not work during the risk period.
You need to provide information and procedures to all employees and contract staff. Inform staff who meet the isolation criteria that they should remain isolated in their home.
For more information: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business