Preparing your business against coronavirus
  • Last updated:
  • 01 Apr 2020

Keep on top of your responsibilities and ensure your staff know where they can find relevant information. 

Emergency business hotlines

  • Federal Government Business Hotline - 13 28 46
  • Queensland Business Hotline - 1300 654 687
  • Australian Taxation Office Emergency Hotline - 1800 806 218
  • Centrelink Hotline - 13 74 68 

Keep your business costs down

Look at costs including staffing levels, electricity bills and rent charges and see if any reductions can be given. Speak to people including your landlord, energy provider, bank and accountant to see what your options are. 

Keep your customers up to date

You might be closing, working from home, have new hours, or offer different services, so make sure you keep your customers up to date with any changes so they can still shop with you or use your services.

Update changes to business hours​, business profile, phone numbers, business model/ description and any other adjustments. You can share more detailed and timely updates through social and website posts, email or text. We have also created some take-away delivery[28KB] and now online[32KB] posters as well as car park signage to help you keep your customers in the know - let us know if you want to take part in our funded print run, or download and print yourself.

We have gathered more information to help you stay informed and to save you time, such as Small Business Western Australia's top 6 tips to prepare your business. Read more helpful tips below.


  • Workplace obligations and entitlements – Fair Work Australia offers help and advice for employers with entitlements during this time.  
  • Learn about COVID-19 and Australian workplace laws.
  • Employer and business obligations  - find out how to meet your employer and business obligations and isolation requirements if you're affected by the coronavirus and understanding your privacy obligations to your staff.
  • Standing down staff, payment in self-isolation, isolation leave, hours reduction and more - the Fair Work Ombudsman answers your questions from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees - if you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
  • Super guarantee payments - as an employer, you still need to meet your super obligations for your employees. For assistance, contact the ATO.
  • Legal advice - ClaytonUtz has compiled a briefing document covering workplace law, healthcare and safety, privacy, contractual compliance, insurance, tax and finance.
  • Employee rights, entitlement and pay - Keep on top of your responsibilities and ensure your staff know where they can find any information they might want.
  • Vulnerable employees in workplace - on March 30 National Cabinet endorsed the AHPPC advice that: Where vulnerable workers undertake essential work, a risk assessment must be undertaken. Risk needs to be assessed and mitigated with consideration of the characteristics of the worker, the workplace and the work. This includes ensuring vulnerable people are redeployed to non-customer based roles where possible. Where risk cannot be appropriately mitigated, employers and employees should consider alternate arrangements to accommodate a workplace absence. Special provisions apply to essential workers who are at higher risk of serious illness and, where the risk cannot be sufficiently mitigated, should not work in high risk settings.
  • Hotlines 
    • Centrelink Employment Services and Job Network - 13 28 50

    • Jobactive - 13 62 58

    • For help in accessing the appropriate service call 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

  • Workplace obligations and entitlements – Fair Work Australia offers help and advice for employees with entitlements during this time.  
  • Employee rights, entitlement and pay - Keep on top of your responsibilities and ensure your staff know where they can find any information they might want.
    Worker transition scheme and rapid response provides information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closures or redundancy programs.
  • MyGov support - Information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus.
  • Job seeker support - payment and services to support people seeking work. 
  • Casual employees - The Australian Government is making support payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period periods for casual employees. Plus a coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight for the next six months, on top of other benefits, such as JobSeeker Payment.
  • Remember to tell your accountant this tax time if you worked from home during the COVID-19 outbreak as that might change what you can claim.
  • Worker transition scheme and rapid response - the Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response provides a suite of information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closures or redundancy programs. You can email for financial, job seeking and career information support. 
  • Early access to superannuation - Casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free. 
  • Vulnerable employees in workplace -  on March 30 National Cabinet endorsed the AHPPC advice that: Where vulnerable workers undertake essential work, a risk assessment must be undertaken. Risk needs to be assessed and mitigated with consideration of the characteristics of the worker, the workplace and the work. This includes ensuring vulnerable people are redeployed to non-customer based roles where possible. Where risk cannot be appropriately mitigated, employers and employees should consider alternate arrangements to accommodate a workplace absence. Special provisions apply to essential workers who are at higher risk of serious illness and, where the risk cannot be sufficiently mitigated, should not work in high risk settings.
  • Isolation requirements - Make sure you and your staff know what is required.
  • Workplace health and safety requirements - As an employer, you're required to ensure the health and safety of your workers, so read up on the latest adviceSafe Work Australia provides advice on work health and safety requirements in your workplace, including designing flexible work arrangementssafe telecommuting, ergonomic guide to computer-based workstations, and avoiding the risks of working aloneWork Safe Queensland provides additional workplace risk management information and advice.
  • ComCare has created a great page with everything you need to be aware of during the pandemic. Make sure you and your staff check it out.
  • Vulnerable employees in workplace - on March 30 National Cabinet endorsed the AHPPC advice that: Where vulnerable workers undertake essential work, a risk assessment must be undertaken. Risk needs to be assessed and mitigated with consideration of the characteristics of the worker, the workplace and the work. This includes ensuring vulnerable people are redeployed to non-customer based roles where possible. Where risk cannot be appropriately mitigated, employers and employees should consider alternate arrangements to accommodate a workplace absence. Special provisions apply to essential workers who are at higher risk of serious illness and, where the risk cannot be sufficiently mitigated, should not work in high risk settings.
  • Phone and data reliefNBN Co has announced that it will waive charges for additional capacity of up to 40 percent to providers like Telstra, Optus and TPG for at least three months in order to help them support Australian residential and business customers. Telstra has also announced a range of measures to support pensioners, consumers and small business customers.
  • Rental support - Evictions will be put on hold for six months by the states and territories. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.
  • Mentoring - Business Queensland has a range of resources and support services are available for impacted businesses who feel they need additional mentoring or assistance.
  • Managing your business through forced closure, critical IT actions, supply chainsBDO has a suite of information to help you respond to COVID-19.
  • Financial - Australian banks will pause business loan repayments and interest charges for six months. Any business that has not yet been contacted should call their bank to apply for assistance. After six months, the loan period will be extended or the level of loan repayments will be increased. Westpac is offering general financial and business advice to help deal with the impacts of the virus. You do not have to be a Westpac customer to access the service, but any business already banking with Westpac may find additional services available. Email: businesspecialistsqld@westpac.com.au
  • Accountant - For an accountant’s advice on how you can protect your small business from coronavirus head to MYOB.com
  • HR support - FCB Group is offering 15-minute complementary HR advice sessions for challenges associated with staffing decisions related to COVID-19. Call the hotline on (02) 9083 0033.
  • Legal advice - ClaytonUtz has compiled a briefing document covering workplace law, healthcare and safety, privacy, contractual compliance, insurance, tax and finance. You can also learn aboutCOVID-19 and Australian workplace law.
  • Tax relief - if you are experiencing difficulties with tax obligations because of COVID-19, you can phone the Australian Taxation Office Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to your circumstances or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au Remember that on March 27, AUSkey and the Manage ABN Connections login credentials will retire. This means anyone who uses the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) Business Portal or a range of other government online services will need to setup and use myGovID so make sure that is up to date so you can access further support.
  • Insurance advice - Gallagher are offering complimentary general advice on risks affecting industry and how to obtain suitable insurance cover. Call the advice line on (07) 3002 3051.
  • Standing down staff, payment if self-isolating, personal leave requirements if isolating, leave to look after children, hour reduction and more - the Fair Work Ombudsman answers questions from Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to help you understand your options.
  • Payment and Service Finder - helps employers understand what they are eligible for and how they can claim online.
  • Power bill relief - our business may be eligible for a $500 rebate off energy bills if you consume less than 100,000kWh. This will be automatically applied on your business electricity bills.
  • Facebook small business grants - Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits to help during COVID-19.
  • US Chamber of Commerce Foundation - resources on business resilience and disaster recovery.
  • Resources for business and employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19 from the Center for Disease Control.


  • Crisis planning - PWC offers some tips for responding to business impacts, such as crisis planning, effective communication, workforce planning and supply chain.
  • Crisis marketing support - tourism tribe offers free disaster recovery marketing resources to help businesses through difficult times, including templates, online videos, articles and strategies.

Australia has stopped non-residents and citizens from entering Australia. All those residents and citizens that do enter Australia must self-isolate in quarantine for 14 days.

Queensland border closuresThe restrictions are to stop all non-essential travel into and within Queensland. Travelling for holidays is considered "non-essential travel". Border access is for residents returning home, commerce and health/essential workers. The main border crossings with be manned by police, TMR and other QG officers who will be stopping each vehicle. You can also read the Chief Health Officer directive on border closures for more information. 

If businesses are required to cross state borders for business they must seek a vehicle permit to do so.

State campgrounds closed - All camping areas in Queensland national parks, state forests and recreation areas are closed from 26 March 2020 until further notice. 

Some other states and territories are following suit with their borders and the Federal Government has asked people to stop all non-essential domestic and international travel, so, if you need to travel for work, make sure have the right travel advice and know how to protect yourself and others if you're affected by the COVID-19. Check Smart Traveller prior to travelling. The ACCC also has advice related to event and travel cancellations.


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