COVID-19 Crisis – 30 March 2020

COVID-19 Crisis – 30 March 2020

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5pm: Treasurer – employees who are eligible will receive a minimum of $1500 per fortnight. Workers who have lost their jobs in the past few weeks but were on the books on 1 March 2020 are eligible. Government to encourage employers to revisit terminated employees to be eligible for this payment. Any entitlements that have been paid out need to be sorted out with the employer, employees who continue on with business to keep entitlements but won’t be paid out those entitlements.

4.52pm: PM – This is a wage subsidy payment. Payment will meet first $1500 of an employees salary to give employers a bit more room to keep Australians in jobs on the books for longer. There is no superannuation guarantee levy on this payment. 

4.48pm:: Legislation will be required in relation to the Job-seeker payments, Parliament will need to be recalled to pass legislation through Parliament and give effect to it but in a much smaller arrangement with only key Ministers from both sides. Weekly telephone meetings already in place between Government and Shadow Cabinet to understand agree on measures.

4.28pm: Companies and sole traders can apply to the ATO for all employees who are on their books as of 1 March 2020. Payments will flow from 1 May 2020 and will be backdated to 30 March 2020.

If employees have been stood down by their employer since 1 March, they are still eligible for these payments.

To be eligible, companies must demonstrate the turnover of the business will need to have fallen by 30% or more and in the case of companies with a turnover of more than $1bn, by 50% or more.

Australia’s wage subsidy scheme is unlike those announced by other nations.

  • More generous than New Zealand’s scheme.
  • Broader than United Kingdom’s scheme in that it applies to all employees, not just those who have been stood down.
  • Available to all eligible companies, not just small – medium businesses like in Canada.

4.25pm : Treasurer John Frydenberg declares most important economic focus is to keep Australians in jobs and Australian businesses in business. Job-keeper payment to be a flat-payment of $1500 per fortnight, per employee. This is equivalent of 70% of the median wage. It will be available to:

  • Full time and part time workers;
  • Sole traders
  • Casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more.

4.18 pm: Treasurer John Frydenberg “The past weeks have been tough but the weeks ahead will be tougher” .

4.14pm: $1500 per fortnight “Job-keeper payment” to keep employees in businesses. Federal Government will pay employers this wage subsidy to ensure they can keep paying their employees and ensure that they do.

4.11pm: Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledges a further $130 Billion over the next 6 months to support the jobs and livelihoods of the estimated 6 million Australians whose jobs are under threat in this crisis.

4.05pm: Prime Minister Scott Morrison & Treasurer Josh Frydenberg are LIVE in Canberra announcing further economic stimulus package to keep Australians in work. “Now is the time to dig deep” and to provide “uniquely Australian solutions” – PM.

1.07pm: Two person limit on public gatherings effective midnight 31st March 2020. Find out how each State will enforce here.

1pm: Australian COVID-19 death toll rises to 17. Total confirmed cases: 4,163. 

10.43am: Commercial landlords get repayment delays:
Australian banks will allow commercial landlords with loans of up to $10 million to delay their loan repayments by up to six months, on the condition tenants are not evicted due to the coronavirus crisis.

9.00 am: Confirmed cases: There are now 718,711 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with at least 3,980 confirmed cases in Australia.

8:00am: Federal Government to unveil Coronavirus wage subsidy for businesses workers: Businesses are expected to be paid a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, under a Federal Government plan to keep Australians in work. Click here for more.

Summary of key developments – 29 March 2020

  • The Australian COVID-19 death toll rises to 16 after a woman in QLD and a man in Victoria both died due to COVID-19 related illnesses. 1/3 of all Australian COVID-19 deaths can be attributed to cruise ships.
  • Federal Finance Minister, Mathias Corman confirms it will change the partner income test for people on welfare
  • Australia’s stricter international border restrictions come into effect
  • As of midnight Saturday night, all Australians returning home from overseas will be put into compulsory quarantine in hotels for two weeks.

7pm:  PM addresses nation and announces further measures and restrictions

  • Two-person limit to gatherings in public. Previously the maximum gathering size was 10 people, excluding family members.
  • Outside gyms and skateparks will be closed from tomorrow. Bootcamps will also be reduced to two people.
  • There will be a moratorium on evictions from rental properties for people who are facing financial distress. 
  • The Prime Minister asked people aged over 70, those with chronic illnesses aged over 60, and Indigenous people aged over 50 to stay home “to the maximum extent practical”

6:45pm: $1.1 billion boost for mental health services, domestic violence support, Medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief. The bulk of the package will go to expanding Medicare subsidies for telehealth services. Click here for further details.

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