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Financial support for businesses and workers affected by the July lockdowns in NSW and Victoria
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Financial support for businesses and workers affected by the July lockdowns in NSW and Victoria

The Prime Minister has announced details of assistance for workers in NSW and Victoria impacted by the current lockdowns to be jointly funded by the Federal and State governments.

The State governments have also announced assistance measures for affected businesses.

Support for workers

The Prime Minister has announced changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for workers affected by public health restrictions. The revised position is as follows.

Eligibility

Workers will be eligible to the Payment if they have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown and satisfy other eligibility criteria.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that eligibility for the Payment will not be dependent on a liquid assets test.

Payments will be funded by the Commonwealth for those who live or work in areas declared as a Commonwealth Hotspot by the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer (CGMO) and by the relevant State Government for other eligible workers.

Further details on designated NSW hotspots and eligibility criteria for affected workers is available on the Services Australia website here.

Details on eligibility for workers impacted by the fifth Victorian lock down will be available here once the Services Australia website is updated. Declared Victorian hotspots are Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff and Surf Coast Shire.

Entitlement

The amount of the COVID-19 Disaster Payment:

  • $600 per week for people who have lost 20 hours or more of paid employment per week.
  • $375 per week for people who have lost between 8 and 20 hours per week of paid employment, or a full day of your usual work hours.

Payments will be made in arrears on application to Services Australia 7 days after the commencement of the lockdown (that is from Friday 23 July 2021). The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is taxable income.

Business support packages

In addition to the above, each of NSW and Victoria are providing support to business impacted by the current restrictions.

New South Wales

According to the Service NSW website, the following support measures are available to eligible business impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 business grant

Businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations may be eligible for a grant the amount of which is to be based on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions as follows:

Decline in turnover Maximum grant
30% or more $7,500
50% or more $10,500
70% or more $15,000

Eligibility criteria include that the entity has an active ABN, had an aggregated turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020, total annual Australian wages of no more than $10 million and demonstrate that the business is physically located and primarily operating in NSW. In addition, business must maintain their employee headcount as of 13 July 2021.

Micro business grant

Small businesses and sole trader with annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000, may be eligible for a payment of $1,500 per fortnight of restrictions if they suffer a decline in turnover of at least 30%.

What the “restriction period” is and how the “decline in turnover” is to be measured for the purposes of these grants are yet to be announced.

Victoria

On 16 July, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a $200 million package of support for eligible business impacted by Victoria’s fifth lockdown.

July Top-Up Payment

Business that receive payments through the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will receive an additional $2,000, and recipients of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 will receive an additional $3,000.

These payments are to be made automatically to all successful recipients of the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021. Both of these programs closed prior to the start of the July lockdown.

What are the next steps?

If you are seeking further information or assistance, please contact you Pitcher Partners representative.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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