03 Aug QLD Government Lockdown Stimulus Resources
We extend our support to all clients through this difficult time. We note that while our office is closed we continue to work and are available to be called and emailed as usual. Please get in touch if we can help.
The government has announced lockdown stimulus packages for both business and employees as follows.
QLD Government Business Support Grants –
Opening Mid-August 2021
Yesterday the QLD government announced the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grant. Grant applications are expected to open in mid-August 2021.
Eligible businesses will receive a one-off payment of $5,000 (excluding GST).
To be eligible for the grant the business must:
- Be located in QLD
- Have experienced at least a 30% reduction in turnover.
- Have a minimum turnover of $75,000 per annum.
- Have annual payroll in QLD of less than $10M.
No information on how the reduction in turnover test will be calculated has been released however we expect it will look at your turnover during the lockdown period relative to your turnover in a nominated “normal” trading period. In NSW they used the corresponding turnover from 2019 (i.e. pre the impact of Covid).
Payment of the grant will occur within 2 weeks of being notified that your application has been approved. This is likely to mean that payments will not be made until late August.
Grants are to be processed in the order that applications are received. We recommend businesses lodge their application as soon as they are able to once applications open in mid-August
There may be opportunities for businesses to qualify for the QLD Business Support Grant and for business owners who draw wages from their business to also qualify for the Commonwealth Government’s Covid-19 Disaster Payment (see below).
For now, businesses should monitor the QLD Government Business website until further information on the application process becomes available. We will send out further newsletters as more information comes to hand.
Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment –
Support for workers impacted by the lockdown
As South East Queensland has been declared a Commonwealth hotspot, eligible Queensland workers who are impacted by the lockdown can apply for the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster payment of:
- $750 per week for individuals who lose 20 or more hours of work during the period of the lockdown; and
- $450 per week for individuals who lose between 8 and 20 hours of work, or a full day of work, during the period of the lockdown.
To get the payment, you need to meet all eligibility rules that apply:
- you’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
- you’re 17 years or older
- you didn’t get an income support payment, Education Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance during the payment period.
- you didn’t get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
- you lost income and didn’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements. Appropriate paid leave entitlements include pandemic-related paid leave entitlements however you are not required to first utilise annual leave or paid sick and carer’s leave.
- you lived in, worked from or visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a state restricted movement order
- you have been unable to earn your usual income of 8 hours or more, or a full day’s work because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot and were subject to restricted movement.
Please note that for individuals already in receipt of a Centrelink income support payment, you may review your eligibility here.
There are 2 relevant periods you can apply for:
- 1 August to 7 August 2021
- 8 August 2021 (these periods will extend if the lockdown is extended).
The application is made through the Commonwealth Government’s MyGov app. Instructions can be viewed here: COVID-19 Disaster Payment – Queensland if you don’t get a Centrelink payment – How to claim – Services Australia.
Unfortunately, as tax agents we have no ability to assist directly with MyGov applications or lodge MyGov stimulus applications on your behalf. We are however here to discuss your eligibility and give guidance regarding the process.
The government’s FAQ page outlines the following additional points:
- The government won’t review your annual leave balance when they assess your eligibility for COVID-19 Disaster Payment. But if you decide to take annual leave, you will not have lost income and therefore won’t be eligible for this payment.
- Sole traders are eligible however Sole Traders cannot qualify for both the QLD government stimulus and the Commonwealth government stimulus for the same period. At this stage it is likely that the QLD government stimulus of $5,000 is the better option for eligible sole traders. If you are employed by your own company or trust it may be possible for the company or trust to qualify for the QLD Government Business Support Grants while the owner employee qualifies for the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment. This scenario will only be available where the owner as an employee of the business legitimately meets the eligibility requirements outlined above.
Current guidance is that applications for this payment will open on Sunday 8 August, following the first week of the South-East Queensland lockdown.
Fair Work Resources
The Fair Work Ombudsman has put together some useful resources on Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws. As accountants we are not able to advise on workplace law however we have found the following resources to be useful: Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws – Fair Work Ombudsman.
We note that when interpreting Fair Work guidance that it is always necessary to review the applicable Industry Award. We highly recommend seeking legal advice in this area if you are unsure of your rights and obligations.