COVID-19 Update – 28 April

JobKeeper Update
JobKeeper Directives + Fair Work Changes: Your Comprehensive Guide

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme (JobKeeper scheme) in Australian workplaces. The new provisions apply to employers who have qualified for the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees. Once an employer has qualified for the JobKeeper scheme, the new provisions enable:

  • employers to make temporary and partial stand downs in certain circumstances
  • employers to temporarily alter employees’ usual duties and locations of work in certain circumstances
  • employers and employees to agree on altering an employee’s days and times of work and use of annual leave in certain circumstances.

Access the Guide and JobKeeper Directive Changes here

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) and JobKeeper Payment

The relationship between the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and JobKeeper Payment is now confirmed. This relates to the eligibility for JobKeeper for Supported Employees (dependent upon employer eligibility).

Employees receiving DSP, their parents and carers may believe that JobKeeper payments will affect the employee’s eligibility for the DSP and associated benefits. However, only younger employees on the DSP (i.e. those aged less than 21) will be impacted due to a much lower income cut off limit. Employers should advise their employees receiving DSP to be aware of the impact of receiving JobKeeper payments, especially if they are aged 21 or less. Employees with a disability exceeding the DSP income test cut off limit will have their DSP suspended, but will retain their pensioner concession card. See the JobKeeper factsheet here

Further Information about the JobKeeper Payment is available on the ATO Website

The ATO’s alternative decline in turnover tests for entities where there is not an appropriate relevant comparison period has also been confirmed. This will likely make JobKeeper an available support for many more organisations. Read more

Work Health & Safety
COVID Employee Wellness: Survey Template

Is your organisation concerned about your employee’s wellness, physical and mental wellbeing? This survey template is designed to send out to your employees to help get a gauge of how they have been coping. This template, approved by HR and Mental Health experts, is fully customisable to your organisational context.

Download the free COVID Employee Wellness Survey Template here

The impact of COVID-19 on employers’ WHS obligations

Insurance broker Aon has developed a flyer on COVID-19 Work Health & Safety obligations including risk control strategies; working from home risks and controls; and mental and psychological health strategies. Read more

Funding boost announcement
NSW Government announce $73 million to support mental wellness during COVID-19 pandemic

On 24 April Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor announced the funding boost to help support the mental health and wellbeing of people across the state during the pandemic. The package includes:

  • Over 180 additional specialist, community-based mental health clinicians and peer support workers
  • Expanding the virtual mental health program to all local health districts
  • Free access to Tresillian’s digital SleepWellBaby program
  • Capacity for 60,000 extra calls to the 1800 NSW Mental Health Line: and
  • Creation of pop-up mental health Safe Space sites, reducing pressure on emergency departments

Further information and resources are available on the COVID-19 page on our website.