COVID-19: Latest Announcements

Last updated 19/10/2021


Now OpenConstruction industry Business Costs Assistance Program – Round Four
Applications are now open until 9 November 2021 (or when funds are exhausted)
Once your application has been submitted, you will be notified of an outcome within 10 business days
Incomplete or incorrect information may delay your application

Click here to apply

The Victorian Government are providing one-off grants of 
– $2,000 for eligible non-employing construction industry businesses, and
– $2,800, $5,600 or $8,400 for eligible employing construction industry businesses, based on payroll size.

Eligibility

– Businesses in the ANZSIC classes below
– Businesses must have a worksite located in metropolitan Melbourne, the City of Greater Geelong, Mitchell Shire
or Surf Coast Shire.
– Businesses must have incurred direct costs because of restrictions in place between 21 September – 4 October,
which have not been partially or fully recovered.
– Business must not have been able to operate remotely between 21 September – 4 October.
– Must not have received a Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2 or Business Costs Assistance
Program Round 2 – July extension payment or Small Business COVID Hardship Fund payment


Information you need for your application
– a valid Australian business number (ABN) for your business that has an eligible ANZSIC class code
– if you employ people, your WorkCover Employer Number (WEN) or, if this is yet to be issued, a WorkSafe
Application Reference Number (WRN)
– if you are a non-employing business, a WorkSafe Construction Induction Training Card (white card or ‘ticket’) or
interstate equivalent issued by a comparable governing authority in another Australian state or territory
– a valid proof of identity document (Australian driver licence, Australian Passport, Medicare Card and Australian
visa information and foreign passport).

Eligible ANZSIC classes
3011       House Construction
3019       Other Residential Building Construction
3020       Non-Residential Building Construction
3101       Road and Bridge Construction
3109       Other Heavy and Civil Engineering
                Construction
3211       Land Development and Subdivision
3212       Site Preparation Services
3221       Concreting Services
3222       Bricklaying Services
3223       Roofing Services
3224       Structural Steel Erection Services
3231       Plumbing Services
3232       Electrical Services
3233       Air Conditioning and Heating Services
3234       Fire and Security Alarm Installation
                Services
3239       Other Building Installation Services
3241       Plastering and Ceiling Services
3242       Carpentry Services
3243       Tiling and Carpeting Services
3244       Painting and Decorating Services
3245       Glazing Services
3291       Landscape Construction Services
3292       Hire of Construction Machinery with
                Operator
3299       Other Construction Services n.e.c.
6631       Heavy Machinery and Scaffolding
               Rental and Hiring
6619       Other Motor Vehicle and Transport
               Equipment Rental and Hiring





Construction industry  Important COVID-19 update

The Victorian Government today announced the re-opening of the construction industry will occur from Tuesday 5 October.

Mandatory first dose vaccination for Authorised Workers
In order to work on site, all workers will need to continue to carry an Authorised Work Permit and have at least one vaccine dose.

Every construction site must also have a designated and fully trained COVID marshal to ensure compliance with these mandatory requirements.

Every site must also have an up-to-date vaccination register available for compliance check at all times.

Density requirements
– Up to 5 workers and a supervisor will be able to work for small scale construction projects
– Large scale sites can  have up to 25% of workers on site 
– Crib facilities may be used for the consumption of food and drink with strict density requirements and additional ventilation.

Teams of Authorised Workers will conduct checks to enforce directions, and penalties will be in place for builders and site operators that do not comply – including site shutdowns for significant or repeated breaches.



Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Provided by the HIA, industries currently impacted by COVID-19 restrictions including the recent impact on construction workers, below outlines details around the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

If your employees experience a significant reduction in hours due to a shutdown of your business due to mandatory Government restrictions they may be eligible for Disaster Payments.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available:If the employee has lost 20 or more hours of work a week – $750 per week.
If the employee has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work a week – $450 per week.

Eligibility
Your employees will need to meet all of the eligibility criteria available, including that they:live in, work from, or have visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot, are subject to restricted movement or a State government declared lockdown area had paid employment that they could not attend because they were in the COVID-19 hotspot or are subject to restricted movement are not entitled to any appropriate paid leave entitlements which includes state pandemic payments and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

When can your employee make a claim?
Your employee can make a claim for payment at the end of the week throughout which they have lost working hours.

How can your employee apply for the payment?
Your employee will need to apply through Services Australia.
To claim online they need a myGov account linked to a Centrelink online account. If they don’t have a myGov account, they can create one.
Payments will automatically reoccur once an application has been made for the duration of a lockdown period.

The COVID-19 lockdown is in place for 5 days is my employee eligible?
Yes, the length of the lockdown is not part of the eligibility requirements.
As long as all of other eligibility criteria are met and your employees working hours are affected by the lockdown they will qualify for the payment.

Can your employee supplement the disaster payment by using other paid leave such as annual or long service leave?
Yes, however taking paid leave is considered to be earning an income which affects the number of lost hours of work and potentially any subsequent Disaster Payment amount an employee would be eligible for.

Example – Full time employee stood down
You have a full time employee who is currently stood down and has lost 38 hours of work and is entitled to the $600 Disaster Payment.
Your employee may take up to 18 hours of paid annual leave or long service leave before it will affect their $600 payment.
Under the eligibility rules the employee has still lost 20 hours or more of work as a result of COVID-19 restrictions with the remaining 18 hours of annual leave considered to be the employee earning their usual income.
However, if the employee takes 19 hours of paid annual leave then they may no longer be eligible for the $600 COVID-19 Disaster Payment but may be eligible for the $375 payment as the 19 hours of annual leave would be considered to be the earning of an income and equate to a loss of less than 20 hours per week.

Can your employee take paid leave in a lump sum and still receive the Disaster Payment?
Yes.
Paying out annual leave (for example) as a lump sum rather than taking time off as annual leave will not impact the Disaster Payment. Note this may however have different tax implications.
A number of construction industry Modern Awards allow the cashing out of annual leave subject to meeting certain criteria. For example under the Building and Construction General Onsite Award an employee may cash out up to 2 weeks annual leave as long as they have 4 weeks of annual leave remaining after they cash out.

What should I do if my employee declares the incorrect number of hours lost?
The responsibility is on the employee as an individual to correctly apply for these payments. Your employee should notify Services Australia of any changes to the number of hours lost.
However, there is currently no mechanism to recoup incorrect COVID-19 Disaster Payments made.

For more information, go to Refer to Services Australia or contact our office



COVIDSafe Plan
Refer to Corona Virus
 
Every Victorian business or workplace that is open, or has staff on site, must have a COVIDSafe Plan. This will help you protect your workers, customers and visitors. Your COVIDSafe Plan will detail the actions you will take to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace.

Every Victorian workplace that is open must adhere to the following six principles to ensure a COVIDSafe workplace:

Practice physical distancing (1.5 metres)
Wear a face mask
Practice good hygiene
Keep electronic records and act quickly if staff become unwell
Avoid interactions in enclosed spaces
Create workforce bubble

Victorian Government Authorised Officers are closely monitoring and inspecting businesses to ensure they are following their COVIDSafe Plans. There are significant penalties, including fines and prohibition notices, for businesses that fail to follow these directions.




Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Refer to Services Australia

Eligible individuals may be able to receive a lump sum payment of $1,500 that can’t earn an income because you must self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.
VIC COVID-19 Economic Support Measures
Business Costs Assistance Program Round Three (‘BCAP3’)
Refer to Business Victoria
On 6 August 2021, it was announced that eligible businesses will be automatically paid a ‘Business Costs Assistance Program’ Round Three (‘BCAP3’) grant of $2,800.
This is in addition to the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two (‘BCAP2’) which looked to pay grants of up to $7,000 (plus two additional “Top-Up Payments” in July 2021, totalling another $4,800) to eligible small and medium businesses in sectors most affected by the May-June 2021 COVID-19 Victorian restrictions.

Businesses that missed out on the BCAP2 may instead be eligible under a “BCAP2 July Extension” to receive a grant of up to $4,800.
A business eligible for the BCAP2 or BCAP2 July Extension should automatically receive the BCAP3 by mid-August 2021.




A New Business Continuity Fund
Refer to Business Victoria 
On 28 July 2021, it was announced that a new $156 million ‘Business Continuity Fund’ will be established to deliver $5000 grants to up to around 30,000 businesses impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by necessary public health restrictions.
Recognising businesses located in the CBD will continue to be impacted due to restrictions on the number of staff allowed in office buildings, they will be eligible to receive an additional $2000 CBD grant.
Businesses eligible for either the BCAP2 or BCAP2 July Extension will be contacted from mid-August 2021 and this payment will be processed automatically.




Small Business COVID Hardship Fund 
Refer to Business Victoria (more information to be available)
On 28 July 2021, it was announced that a new fund would be set up to pay grants of up to $5,000* to small businesses that:
• are not eligible for support under existing programs;
• have experienced at least a 70% reduction in turnover; and
• have a payroll of up to $10 million. *
On 6 August 2021, is was announced that additional funding would be added to the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund allowing grants of up to $8,000 to be paid.




Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 
Refer to Business Victoria
On 28 July 2021, it was announced that automatic payments of up to $20,000 will be made to Victorian hospitality venues that received funding from the ‘Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund’ through the May/June lockdowns.
An additional $2,000 grant will also be made available to the business if it is located within the CBD.
On 6 August 2021, it was announced that new automatic payments of $5,000 to $20,000 will be made to hospitality venues that received funding support from the Licenced Hospitality Venue Fund through the May/June and July Lockdowns.




Alpine Business Support Fund 
Refer to Business Victoria
On 28 July 2021, it was announced alpine businesses can receive between $5,000 (off-mountain) and $20,000 (employing businesses, on mountain) in recognition of restricted inter and intra-state travel during the peak winter season.
The fund also includes $5 million support to alpine resort operators and management boards.
On 6 August 2021, it was announced that Alpine businesses will receive between $5,000 (off-mountain) and $20,000 (employing businesses, on mountain) under a $10.6 million extension of the Alpine Business Support Program.




Commercial tenancy relief for Victorian businesses 
Refer to Victorian Small Business Commission
On 28 July, it was announced the Victorian Government has also reintroduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief scheme to ease pressure by providing rent relief for eligible tenants.
Separate support is being given to landlords who provide rent relief (via the $80 million Landlord Hardship fund).
Broadly this makes it a requirement for commercial landlords to provide rent relief that matches their tenant’s fall in turnover (where the tenant is otherwise eligible for the support).
This will generally be available for businesses with an annual turnover under $50 million that has experienced a fall in turnover of at least 30% due to the coronavirus.




Victorian events support package 
Refer to Business Victoria
On 21 July 2021, it was announced that new rounds / extensions of the Impacted Public Events Support Program and Live Performance Support programs be provided.
This package is designed to support event organisers, hosts and suppliers as they manage the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through grants of up to $2,000 to $25,000.
This support extends the previous grants available in five support areas, which had closed in July 2021.
Business Victoria indicates further rounds under the announced support measures will open soon.




Microbusiness concierge New sole trader or micro business concierge service 
Refer to Business Victoria
Sole traders or microbusinesses seeking information or advice about COVID-19 business support in Victoria, can now call a dedicated concierge service to understand what support is available to them.
This concierge service is relevant for individuals who work for themselves, or have 1 to 2 employees and an annual turnover of less than $75,000, and are not eligible for Victorian Government COVID-19 business support grants.
NSW COVID-19 Economic Support Measures




NSW 2021 COVID-19 business grant
Refer to Service NSW
Applications will close after 11:59 pm on 13 September 2021

Otherwise eligible NSW businesses (including sole traders and not-for-profit organisations) with:
• an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
• total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2020;
can potentially claim grants between $7,500 and $15,000.

These grants were designed to provide businesses with cash flow support for the first three weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown (i.e., from 26 June to 17 July 2021). Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions, being:
• $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more;
• $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more; or
• $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.




NSW 2021 JobSaver payment
Refer to Service NSW
Applications will close at 11:59 pm on 18 October 2021

Otherwise eligible NSW businesses, sole traders and not-forprofit organisations with:
• an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million; and
• which can demonstrate a 30% reduction in turnover (compared to an equivalent two-week period);
are entitled to a JobSaver cash flow boost via fortnightly payments from week four of the current NSW lockdown.

Eligible entities will receive 40% of their NSW payroll payments, at a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $100,000 per week from 18 July 2021 onwards.
Assistance will cease when the current lockdown restrictions are eased, or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed.

To receive the payment, employing entities will be required to maintain their staffing level as of 13 July 2021. For non-employing businesses (e.g., eligible sole traders) the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.




Micro business grants 
Refer to Service NSW
Also refer to COVID-19 business grants comparison
Applications will close at 11:59 pm on 18 October 2021.

Otherwise eligible ‘micro businesses’ (including small business, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations) with:
• an annual aggregated turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 for the year ended 30 June 2020;
• that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% over a minimum two-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown;
may be eligible for payments of $1,500 per fortnight to cover business expenses for the duration of the lockdown.

Another requirement of this payment is the recipient must not have applied for either the NSW 2021 COVID-19 business grant or the NSW JobSaver payment.

Employing businesses are also required to maintain their employee headcount from 13 July 2021 while receiving payments from the grant.
Eligible non-employing business must have the business as their primary source of income.




NSW Payroll tax concessions 
Refer to revenue.nsw.gov.au

NSW payroll tax concessions include:
• Payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with grouped Australian wages of between $1.2 million (the current payroll tax tax-free threshold) and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover.
• Payment deferrals and interest free repayments.Back to Top




NSW Land tax concessions 
Refer to revenue.nsw.gov.au

Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial and residential landlords to eligible tenants is available for up to 100% of the 2021 NSW land tax year liability.
Note: A property can receive either this land tax relief or the Residential Tenancy Support Payment (but not both).




Residential Tenancy Support Payment
Refer to fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

A capped tax grant (i.e., a tenancy support payment) of up to $1,500 (per tenancy agreement) for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent (or who choose this over the land tax relief set out above).




Short term eviction moratorium and other tenant safe guards 
Refer to fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

The NSW Government will introduce a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meets other eligibility criteria.

In addition, it will restrict recovery of security bonds, lockouts or evictions of impacted retail and commercial tenants prior to mediation.
Furthermore, the NSW Government is providing land tax relief or alternatively tenancy support payments




Targeted industry support

Other targeted industry support measures include:
• The deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2022.
• A $75 million support package for the performing arts sector (administered by Create NSW).
• A $26 million package for the accommodation sector.
QLD COVID-19 Economic Support Measures
2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants 
Refer to Business Queensland
Applications open mid-August 21

Eligible small to medium businesses with:
• turnover of more than $75,000 per annum; and
• an annual Queensland payroll of up to $10 million; and
• at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the lockdown that commenced on 31 July 2021;
may be entitled to a $5,000 business support grant to assist with business expenses.

Note: On 10 August 2021, the QLD Government announced that eligibility would be extended to include large tourism and hospitality businesses outside of South East Queensland (i.e., in response to the recent Cairns and Yarrabah lockdown).
Larger businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector operating in the 11 local government areas that are in lockdown will also be eligible for grants, subject to meeting the relevant criteria.




Queensland Tourism and Hospitality Business package
Refer to Business Queensland

The QLD Government announced on 10 August 2021 a $47.75 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector COVID19 Lockdown Support Package for business. This delivers a range of measures including: • An extension of the eligibility for the $5,000 COVID-19 Business Grants (see above) to include large tourism and hospitality businesses outside of South East Queensland (in response to the recent Cairns and Yarrabah lockdown). • A six-month deferral of payroll tax payments for eligible tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by the current lockdowns. • Waiving, refunding or deferring a range of fees for eligible tourism and hospitality businesses (e.g., 12- month fee waivers for certain park and recreation area tourism businesses.) • A 12-month deferral of state lease fees for eligible tourism operators and waivers or refunds of inbound tour operator fees. • A second round of the COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate to offset berthing fees for marine tourism vessels. • Extensive liquor licensing waivers and refunds. • A $20 million Queensland COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate to aid eligible businesses and not-for-profit entities affected by possible exposure to a COVID-19 case.
SA COVID-19 Economic Support Measures




COVID-19 Business Support Grant 
Questions regarding the Business Support Grant can be sent to [email protected]
Applications close 30 September

Business support grants of up to:
• $3,000 for eligible employing businesses; and
• $1,000 for eligible non-employing businesses;
are available for SA-located businesses which have (amongst other eligibility criteria):
• had their turnover declined by at least 30% due to the COVID-19 health restrictions (imposed from the week commencing 20 July 2021);
• an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020 or 2021 (and be registered for GST); and
• a 2020 Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million.




COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant 
Applications are expected to be open on 13 August 2021 and will close at 11:59pm on 17 October 2021

Additional business support grants (mirroring the original 20 July 2021 grants) of up to:
• $3,000 for eligible employing businesses;
• $1,000 for eligible non-employing businesses; and
• a further $1,000 ‘CBD’ grant for eligible businesses with a commercial premise in the Adelaide CBD.

These additional grants were announced on 9 August 2021 for businesses that have (amongst other eligibility criteria):
• at least a 30% decline in turnover due to the COVID19 health restrictions (imposed from the week commencing 28 July 2021);
• operate in an eligible industry sector; and
• have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in the 2020 financial year.

Importantly, when the July Business Support Grants are combined (i.e., the grants referable to both 20 July 2021 and 28 July 2021), an eligible CBD employing business would receive $7,000 in cash grants.
That is the $3,000 original grant + $3,000 additional grant + $1,000 CBD grant) to support their ongoing COVID-19 recovery.




Major Events Support Grant  
Applications will open soon and will close at 11.59pm on 17 October 2021.
Refer to Department of Treasury and Finance

A Major Events Support Grant of up to $25,000 is available for the operators of major one-off events impacted by the SA July lockdown and subsequent trading restrictions and is available for employing businesses which have (amongst other eligibility criteria):
• a 2020 Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million; and
• incurred a non-recoverable financial loss as a result of the cancellation or postponement.
Any of the COVID-19 Business Support Grants received (will be deducted from the Major Events Support Grant.
WA COVID-19 Economic Support Measures




Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grant: Round 2
Refer to he WA Small business development corporation
Applications close at 11.59pm on 31 August 2021

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a $3,000 grant where they have (among other eligibility criteria):
• an annual turnover of at least $75,000 and are registered for GST;
• an Australia-wide payroll of less than $4 million in the 2020 financial year;
• suffered a defined financial loss or a 30% turnover reduction as a direct result of the lockdown period and be primarily operating in an industry significantly impacted by the lockdown.
NT COVID-19 Economic Support Measures
At this stage applications to these support measures have generally closed.

The most recent support measures included:
• Territory Business Lockdown Payment – $1,000 grants for lock down and extended closure payment.
• Business Hardship Package – providing payroll tax, council rate, rent and utilities concessions.
• Small Business Survival Payment – Business grants of between $2,000 to $20,000.
• Not-for-profit Tourism Attraction Payment – Business grants of between $2,000 to $20,000.
• Trade Support Scheme – COVID-19 Quick response grants for grants of up to $5,000.