MTAQ: Support and information for businesses to combat impact of Coronavirus

MTA Queensland are building this resource area to support our automotive employer businesses and members regarding coronavirus. This area will be regularly updated and currently contains:

  • Australian Dept of Health Updates
  • Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland COVID-19 Employer Guide
  • Federal Govt Stimulus Package
  • ATO relief
  • Qld Govt assistance package
  • Legal Information

Australian Department of Health Updates
Keep up to date on the latest developments about the coronavirus from the Australian Department of Health, including the current alert status, measures to protect yourself and advice on when and how to seek medical treatment.

Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland COVID-19 Employer Guide
The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have released the COVID-19 Employer Guide to assist employers managing the workplace in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Federal Government Stimulus Package
The Morrison Government has announced a $17.6 billion economic plan to support 6.5 million individuals and 3.5 million businesses, employees and households through this difficult period. The stimulus package intends to help businesses manage any short-term cash flow challenges they may encounter, support businesses employing apprentices and keep employees in their jobs.

Increasing instant asset write-off
The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000, while businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million now be eligible for the instant asset write-off threshold, upfrom $50 million.

The expanded instant asset write-off will be made available for assets purchased after 12 March and will be in place until 30 June 2020.

Backing business investment
A limited time 15-month investment incentive will be launched to support business investment and economic growth over the short term. Businesses with a turnover of $50 million or less can deduct 50 per cent of the cost of eligible assets on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

The backing business investment measure will be in place until 30 June 2021.

Boosting cash flow for employers
Eligible small and medium-sized businesses may receive a tax-free payment of up to $25,000 to cover the costs of employee wages and salaries. The minimum payment available will be $2,000, with the funds set to support cash-flow challenges faced by businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million who employ staff.

Supporting apprentices and trainees
Small businesses who employ apprentices and/or trainees will be supported through employee wage subsidies. Eligible businesses can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s wage for up to nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

If an employer is not able to retain the apprentice during this time, the subsidy will be available to any new business that takes on the apprentice.
This measure will support up to 70,000 small businesses, employing 117,000 apprentices.

Stimulus payments for low-income Australians
A one-off payment of $750 will be made available to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. This payment will be available once per individual (e.g. a person who qualifies for the payment in multiple ways will only receive one payment of $750).

This payment will be tax-free and will not count as income for recipients.

Support for coronavirus-affected regions
In addition to the previous measures, $1 billion has been set aside to support regions that are disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus, such as regions heavily reliant on tourism, agriculture or education.

As part of the support for coronavirus-affected regions, the Federal Government will assist businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains and waive all fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or Commonwealth National Parks.

More information about the Federal Government’s economic response to the coronavirus can be found here:

Australian Taxation Office Relief
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has also released measures to support businesses through this period.

Payment deferrals
Businesses who have been impacted by the coronavirus may be eligible for up to four-month deferrals for payments including tax, activity statements, FBT and excise payments.

Monthly GST credits
Businesses who operate on a quarterly reporting cycle may elect to move to a monthly cycle, allowing them to gain quicker access to GST refunds.
Businesses may change to monthly report at the start of a quarter only, which means any immediate changes will take effect from 1 April 2020.

Pay as you go instalments
Businesses may vary their pay as you go (PAYG) instalments to zero for the April 2020 quarter. Businesses may also be allowed to claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.

Remitting interest and penalties
Where a business has been affected by the coronavirus, the ATO will consider remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities incurred after 23 January 2020.

More information about support measures introduced by the ATO to assist businesses can be found here.

Queensland Government Assistance Package
The Palaszczuk Government has announced additional measures that will benefit businesses in Queensland dealing with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Interest free loans to support business
Loans of up to $250,000 will be made available to Queensland businesses to assist with retaining staff through a new $500 million loan facility. All loans will come with an initial 12-months interest-free period.

Payroll tax deferral
The State Government has extended its deferral of payroll tax for six months to all businesses in Queensland.

Almost 300 small and medium sized businesses have already taken up the offer of payroll tax deferral for six-months.

More information about the Queensland Government’s business and industry support package can be found here.

Bennett & Philp Legal Information
Bennett & Philp lawyers have provided updated information for employers during the coronavirus outbreak.

With many employees beginning to ask questions as to how they may be affected during this time, it is important that employers are equipped with the most up to date, in depth knowledge possible.

Bennett & Philp have recommended the following measures be implemented by all businesses to ensure the safety of their employees:

  • Regular updates on maintaining hygiene standards in the office.
  • Wipe down any shared resources.
  • Clear and concise signage around the office on maintaining hygiene.
  • Implementation of sanitary measures throughout the workplace.
  • Ensure employees understand that if they are unwell, they should sneeze or cough into their elbows and never their hands.
  • If employees have travelled to an affected area or have been in contact with a coronavirus infected person, you can act as per any plan you have in place (not attend work for example), and potentially, direct them to work from home.
  • Display coronavirus information material around the office and in client areas.

Businesses should also be aware of any Pandemic or Infectious Diseases Policy they have in place and these policies should be reviewed and updated to ensure they meet current needs.

Other information covered by Bennett & Philp include:

  • Statutory entitlements to standing down employees.
  • Employees taking paid or unpaid leave entitlements during the stand down period.
  • What are the businesses obligations if employees are unable to work?

Read more about Bennett & Philps advice about how to respond to coronavirus concerns here.

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