Weekly Digest – 19 May 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period Now Open
The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:
- up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
- up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years
Register any time until the scheme ends.
COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted in Perth and Peel
From Saturday last week, the Perth and Peel regions returned to pre-lockdown life. Masks are no longer mandatory on public transport, hospitals, aged care homes, and events with over 1000 people. However, wearing masks is still required at airports. The 100-person limit on gatherings has also been lifted.
It is the first time since April 23 that Western Australia has been without restrictions.
Australia Sticks By Plan to Reopen Border in Mid-2022
The government announced that it will stick to plans to start reopening international borders only from mid-2022, despite mounting pressure to end border closure. The closure, snap lockdowns, efficient contact tracing, and public health compliance have made the country’s COVID-19 control measures among the world’s most effective.
Only 75% of Vaccines Distributed Have Been Administered
New figures show that only 75% of vaccines available in Australia have been administered, with GP clinics in every state under-utilising their allocated supply. Around 1.5 million doses have been delivered, but not yet administered. Authorities said the number of doses given out declined when the advice was changed about AstraZeneca for under 50s, which prompted recalibration.
$26.8 Million Investment for Well-Being of Young Australians
The government announced an investment of $26.8 million in Yourtown’s Kids Helpline to support the mental health and well-being of children and young Australians. With approximately 630,000 young people with mild to moderate mental illness in the country, caring for young people’s well-being remains one of the government’s top priorities.
The Kids Helpline provides private and confidential 24/7 telephone and webchat counselling, online articles on a range of well-being issues, and case management in conjunction with face-to-face services.
WA Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants Program
The Western Australian Government has announced targeted grants to help small businesses affected by the recent lockdown in the Perth and Peel regions. The program will provide grants of $2000 to small businesses in industry sectors most severely impacted.
The intention is to help small businesses offset some of the direct costs of the lockdown and business closure, such as perishable goods.
You can learn more about the eligibility criteria here.
AgMove Support to Boost Harvest Workforce
A new AgMove support will be launched to accommodate short, but intense, harvesting seasons and provide the right incentives to get job seekers to give agricultural work a go.
Under AgMove, the government is introducing more flexible incentives which will see Australians eligible for up to $2,000 in relocation assistance (or $650 for temporary visa holders) when they complete just 40 hours of agricultural work over a two-week period.
If they continue with the agricultural work and complete 120 hours across a period of at least four weeks, they will hit the second eligibility point where they will be able to access reimbursement of up to $6,000 for Australian workers and up to $2,000 for temporary visa holders.
Providing Health Care Remotely During COVID-19
From 13 March to 30 June 2021, new temporary MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule) telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19. You can find the temporary Medicare items that will help health care practitioners deliver telehealth services via phone or video conferencing here.
Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices to Be Expanded
The government will spend $1.2 billion to expand its wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, as JobKeeper ended last month.
Under the apprentice scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. It will run until September 2022. Ask us if you have any questions.
Upcoming Key Dates
Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:
- Lodge and pay April 2021 monthly business activity statement.
- Final date to add new FBT clients to your client list to ensure they receive the lodgment and payment concessions for their fringe benefits tax returns.
- Lodge and pay eligible quarter 3, 2020–21 activity statements if you or your client have elected to receive and lodge electronically.
- Lodge and pay quarter 3, 2020–21 Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly (NAT 9599) if the employer did not pay enough contributions on time. Employers who lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly can choose to offset contributions they paid late to a fund against their super guarantee charge for the quarter. They still have to pay the remaining super guarantee charge.
Contact us if you have any questions.
Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended
The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.
Building and Implementing a Business Resilience Plan
Resilience plans are designed to help businesses cope with unprecedented challenges and market disruptions. In this Forbes article, members of the Forbes Business Council shared critical tips to implement a resilience plan that works regardless of external factors.
- A resilience plan must start from the company’s mission, vision, and internal culture. Ensure your foundation is strong.
- Embrace tension instead of avoiding it. Engage in constructive dialogue to find a resolution to a specific challenge.
- Develop a roadmap for the overall vision of the company. Your resilience plan must involve adaptation, securities, continuity, and recovery.
- Cultivate a resilience mindset so your team can respond dynamically.
- Conduct solid market research and analysis to create effective future strategies.
- Keep your processes organised and adapt them when circumstances change to reduce friction in product or service delivery.
- Enhance adaptability without losing focus on your goals and mission.
- Focus on your customers’ pain points and uphold transparency and authenticity to provide exceptional customer experience.
- Establish what metrics to measure before you start. Test, listen to the data, and quickly adjust accordingly.
- Treat it like a fire evacuation plan— identify mission-critical operations and key assets and carry out a risk assessment.
- Take an iterative approach. Develop a plan of action, assess progress, and adapt as needed.
- Provide employees with access to content and technology they need, whenever and wherever.
- Focus on employee training and gaining their trust. Leave room for flexibility to empower employees to be creative to best serve the interest of the company and its customers.
Need expert help in developing a business resilience plan? Book a one-on-one consultation with us.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.