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COVID-19 - JobKeeper Payment Announced

31 March 2020

On Monday the Government announced a $130 billion subsidy program designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.

Eligible employers:

For businesses with turnover less than $1billion, turnover has to be reduced by more than 30 per cent. Businesses can assess this by looking at a comparable month from 2019. The employer must also have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020 and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments. 

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Changes To Long Service Leave To Help Employees & Businesses

27 March 2020

On Wednesday, the NSW Parliament passed changes to long service leave which will create greater flexibility for employers and employees to access leave during the COVID-19 crisis.

The amendments to the Long Services Leave Act 1955 will allow employees to take leave in shorter blocks, such as one day a week, and without the traditional one-month notice period, by agreement with their employer.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who introduced the changes in to the NSW Parliament, said the flexibility was very important during a time when businesses are looking at every option to keep staff on their books.

“These changes will provide another way for businesses to help maintain their workforce during what will be an extended period of disruption,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It requires the agreement of both the employee and employer for this to be done.

“We expect this to be an option which will help people get through the next few months and effectively put money in their weekly budgets.”

The key amendments are:

  • waiving the one-month notice period for taking leave (by mutual agreement between employee and employer)
  • greater flexibility for employees to take this leave in shorter blocks if they wish (rather than traditional monthly blocks).

The legislation will have effect for six months from Wednesday with the possibility of an extension to one year.

Sourced from www.nsw.gov.au

Client Support Update

27 March 2020

Our environment is changing rapidly due to COVID-19 but our core value remains the same – we genuinely care for our clients. We understand this is a challenging time and we have been busy adapting and evolving our practice so we can continue to support our clients.

We are so lucky to have a great team at Boyce who are passionate about being an important part of your business. Keeping our clients and team safe is our top priority. 

Here is an update on what we are doing to maintain our service standards:

 

Client Appointments

We are conscious of responding and adapting in a responsible way and for a couple of weeks have been facilitating client appointments via telephone and video conferencing. 

This has been a great success with the use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Our team has put together helpful ‘how-to’ guides on these applications that can be accessed for here for Microsoft Teams and here for Zoom meetings. Your Boyce Accountant is also able to walk through this with you if you have any concerns. 

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Be Cyber Safe: Coronavirus Phishing And Malware On The Rise

25 March 2020

As social distancing calls on more people to self-isolate and work from home, cybersecurity is being put at risk due to online scammers. As such, we urge you to be on the lookout for convincing COVID-19 themed scams currently doing the rounds.

Scamwatch issued a warning on Wednesday, revealing scammers are “falsely selling coronavirus-related products online, and using fake emails, phone calls or text messages to try and obtain personal data”. One such scam even appears to be sent from “GOV” and shares a link that claims to help people find out where they can get tested for coronavirus. The link and sender are fake and by clicking on it, malware is then installed that is designed to steal your banking details.

Common types of coronavirus scams

  • Phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities. These include the World Health Organisation, government authorities, people confirmed to have the coronavirus, and legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies
  • People receiving misinformation about the coronavirus, being sent by text, social media and email
  • Products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus
  • Investment scams claiming coronavirus has created opportunities.

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Federal Government, RBA And APRA "Supporting The Flow Of Credit" - Key Points For Business And Investors

22 March 2020

Late last week the government and regulatory bodies announced they have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy.

The key points for business and investors were:

  1. The Federal Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders in support of new short-term loans to SME’s to a limit of $40B in new lending.  The loans will be up to a 3 year term, with no repayments for the first 6 months and will be unsecured (so will not require assets for security).  The expectation is that lenders will look beyond the next 6 months in their assessment.  The scheme will be available by early April and will run through until 30 September 2020.  No list of participating lenders has yet been published.
  2. In conjunction with this $250k loan scheme lenders will be exempt from the responsible lending obligations for 6 months for existing customers.  The exemption applies to any credit for business purposes.
  3. The RBA has announced a funding facility for the banking system to assist in driving down the cost of credit.
  4. For smaller lenders, the Australian Office of Financial Management will provide $15B in structured finance to this market.

In addition, further to our e-Alert last Friday regarding the ABA relief to Small Businesses, we have seen a number of banks publish their response.  We have only researched the major banks but please contact your lender if they aren’t one of those listed below:

National Australia Bank

Westpac Bank

ANZ Bank 

Commonwealth Bank

We will send through further updates as they become available.

For more information please contact your local Boyce Accountant.

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