The Wheatbelt Business Network is here to help member businesses in the Wheatbelt particularly during these ever changing times.
We also recognise that there are many businesses in the region that also need guidance and we would like to share with you some of the information we have already provided to our members over the past four weeks.
If you would like to receive timely and well researched information or assistance one on one, please become a member.
To help employers, the government has introduced the JobKeeper payment delivered through the ATO. Here are the STEPS you need to take to get ready:
1. Check if you and your nominated employees meet the eligibility requirements
2. Some cloud accounting packages have been updated and include a JobKeeper report which will help you identify which employees may be eligible if your business is
3. Enrol (via the ATO business portal) or here
4. Notify eligible employees that you (their employer) intend to participate in the JobKeeper scheme. The WBN has a number of templates that you can use for this.
5. Confirm with eligible employees that they agree to you being the primary employer to receive JobKeeper Payments.
6. Send the nominated employees the JobKeeper Employee Nomination Form to complete and return to you.
7. Keep the Employee Nomination Form on file.
8. Pay the minimum $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight. The first fortnight starts on 30 March and ends on 12 April. Alternatively, you can make one combined payment of $3,000 for the first two fortnights paid by the end of April 2020.
Applications are now open for the Australian Government’s small business wage subsidy to retain apprentices and trainees. Further information here
• There are a number of changes to Awards for employees (both at federal and state level) including ordinary hours, allowances and leave. The WBN can help you work through this changes.
• The Federal Government has implemented an overseas travel ban after Tuesday 31 March 2020, Western Australians will not be allowed to travel outside their designated region. The Wheatbelt is made up of 42 local governments. Directions and detailed information here
• WA borders are closed. Previously people entering the state had to isolate for 14 days. Now they will be turned away unless they meet exemption criteria. The rule will also apply to West Australian residents returning home. Exemptions include healthcare workers, Emergency services workers, Transport freight and logistics, FIFO, People with specialist skills not available in WA, National or state security and governance, and Courts and judicial services.
• A summary of prohibited activities and venues (applicable to business) is well summarised
• New COVID19 Relief Funding from Lotterywest for crisis and relief funding, Event Cancellation Relief for Arts, Sports and Community Groups and Resilient Arts, Sports, Events and Community Groups.
• Further relief for households experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, including extension of the Energy Assistance Payment, no disconnections for power and water and additional support for Keystart customers
• $502 million for small businesses including a reduction in electricity bills, licences fees waived, and additional payroll tax relief
• New initiatives to apply until 30 September 2020. State Budget deferred until 8 October 2020 for Government to focus on COVID-19