- Last updated:
- 24 Dec 2020
Below is a list of key tips for businesses dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
- 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 business costs down
Assess costs and see if any reductions are possible. This could include:
- staffing levels
- bank fees.
These people may be able to assist:
- energy provider
Keep customers up to date
COVID has changed business. Keeping your customers informed of changes to your business is important. This includes changes to:
- opening hours
- contact details.
Some great ways to do this are:
- use social media
- update Google Maps
- email communication
- Take-away delivery signage
- Now online COVID signage
- Car park signage
- Top 6 tips to prepare your business guide
- Read more helpful tips below.
- Workplace obligations and entitlements - help and advice for employers with entitlements from Fair Work Australia.
- 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 COVID-19 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.
- Super guarantee payments - as an employer, you still need to meet your super obligations for your employees. For assistance, contact the ATO.
- ClaytonUtz has compiled a briefing document covering workplace law, healthcare and safety, privacy, contractual compliance, insurance, tax and finance. Take a look.
- Keep on top of your responsibilities and ensure your staff know where they can find any information they might want. Employee rights, entitlement and pay.
- A risk assessment must be undertaken where vulnerable workers undertake essential work. 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. More information.
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)
Information and support
- JobKeeper package - Businesses and sole traders can register their interest in this program with the Australian Tax Office.
- Jobs Finder Qld - Queensland job seekers can register details, skills and location via the Jobs Finder Queensland portal and access free online training. More information.
- JobSeeker support - payment and services to support people seeking work. More information.
- Federal Jobs Hubs - the Australian Government is actively supporting businesses to connect with those looking for work.
- MyGov support - Information and services to help you if you’re affected by COVID-19. Payments and services.
- Employee rights, entitlement and pay - 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. More information.
- Working holiday makers/seasonal workers already in Queensland - are encouraged to use the Harvest Labour website to register for/seek work.
- Supporting apprentices and trainees - Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. More information.
- Casual employees - The Australian Government is making support payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period periods for casual employees. Plus a COVID-19 supplement of $550 a fortnight for the next six months, on top of other benefits, such as JobSeeker Payment. More information.
- Tax returns - 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.
- Fair Work Ombudsman – Provides education, assistance, advice and guidance to employers, employees, outworkers, outworker entities and organisations. More information.
- 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 advice. Safe Work Australia provides advice on work health and safety requirements in your workplace, including designing flexible work arrangements, safe telecommuting, ergonomic guide to computer-based workstations, and avoiding the risks of working alone. Work 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.
Sunshine Coast Council Professional Advice Support Program - Council will fund the Professional Advice Support Program which is designed to connect critically impacted local businesses to confidential professional advice to support them through the business impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible businesses will be able to access up to one (1) hour of professional advice at no charge in accounting and insolvency, human resources or legal services. More information.
Financial advice and support
ASIC has provided relief to industry so businesses can provide affordable and timely financial advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its COVID-19 economic response, the Government introduced measures to allow individuals facing particular financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to access their superannuation early – up to $10,000 in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021. The decision to access superannuation early is significant and Australians should seek information and assistance from superannuation funds, financial advisers and registered tax agents before making any decisions. ASIC has provided tax accountants to provide such advice as well as for a shorter Record of Advice to be provided by super funds and has capped costs at $300. More information.
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. Contact Westpac.
Business assistance finder - Use the Qld Govt Ccoronavirus (COVID-19) Business Assistance Finder to learn what support you may be eligible for.
Phone and data relief - NBN 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. Landlords and renters are encouraged to talk about short term agreements. More information.
Mentoring - Business Queensland has a range of resources and support services are available for impacted businesses who feel they need additional mentoring or assistance. More information.
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. HR support.
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 about COVID-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. More information.
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. More information.
Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning has compiled a useful factsheet of assistance available to you.
Facebook small business grants - Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits to help during COVID-19. More information.
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.
- For international travel check Smart Traveller prior to travelling. The ACCC also has advice related to event and travel cancellations.
- For Queensland travel and entering and exiting Queensland go to COVID-19 QLD. Also read the Chief Health Officer directive.