australia coronavirus response

Australian Government response to assist businesses in dealing with the Coronavirus

News and updates 

22 April 2020


Updates(taken directly from FairWork Omudsman)

9 April 2020


8 April 2020


7 April 2020


6 April 2020



3 April 2020


2 April 2020

1 April 2020

  • The Australian Government has announced its intention to pass legislation to introduce wage subsidies for businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19. It is called the JobKeeper payment and is intended to be paid directly to employers by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who then provide the payment to their employees. Employers can register their interest at Australian Taxation Office – JobKeeper payment external-icon.png.


31 March 2020

  • On 31 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Restaurant Award. The new Schedule applies from 31 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Restaurant Award flexibility during outbreak of coronavirus.

30 March 2020

  • On 25 March 2020, the New South Wales Government amended the state’s Long Service Leave Act to allow for greater flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus. For more information, visit the NSW State Government website external-icon.png.


28 March 2020

  • On 28 March 2020 the Fair Work Commission made a determination to vary the Clerks Award. The new Schedule I applies from 28 March to 30 June 2020. The changes improve award flexibility during the outbreak of coronavirus for classifications and duties, hours of work for full-time and part-time employees and annual leave. Find out more: Clerks Award flexibility during outbreak of coronavirus.


While this post will certainly be outdated in short order, I wanted to give people a snapshot of the current actions being taken by the Australian government to assist businesses in this uncertain time surrounding the unfolding of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

As of March 17th, here is how the Federal Government may be able to help you in your business. 

This information has been taken directly from the website of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

  • Tax-free cashflow boost for employers. Up to $25,000 is available to help pay wages or for investment to protect against a downturn in activity. The payment is open to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million. Eligible businesses that withhold tax on employee salary and wages will automatically receive a payment equal to 50% of the amount withheld. The minimum payment is $2,000 and maximum is $25,000 and will be available for businesses who lodge business activity statements for the March and June quarters. Read the Fact sheet
  • Apprentice wage subsidy. Small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time workers will receive 50% of an apprentice or trainee’s wage. For each apprentice or trainee, the Government will provide up to $7,000 in wage assistance per quarter. The wage subsidy will be open to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time workers and employers of any size that re-employ someone who loses their position as a result of the coronavirus downturn. Read the Fact sheet
  • Boosted instant asset write-off. Businesses with turnover of less than $500 million are eligible for an expanded instant asset write-off for asset investments of up to $150,000. The threshold applies on per asset basis, so businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets. Read the Fact sheet
  • Accelerated depreciation. Businesses with turnover less than $500 million will be able to access a 15 month investment incentive by accelerating depreciation deductions. Read the Fact sheet
  • Help from the ATO. The ATO will provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations (similar to relief provided following the bushfires) for taxpayers affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit the ATO website at for more information.
  • Income support. People who are unable to attend work because they have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus or who are in isolation, may qualify for income support if they do not have any employer leave entitlements. Read the Fact sheet

For a comprehensive study on how to prepare your business for the impacts of Coronavirus, I’d highly recommend this article from well respected business coach Warren Coughlin.

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