NSW COVID-19 - 24 March 2020
As a valued NSW member, NECA will be providing COVID-19 updates each afternoon for the foreseeable future. Please look out for this in your inbox and review in full.
We will endeavor to capture everything relevant to your business, but you will appreciate the situation is constantly evolving so please be patient.
Key developments in the last 24 hours
Worksites remain open
The NSW Government has deemed construction sites as places where essential gatherings can take place. This means construction sites are not and should not close and work should continue, unless there is specific guidance from health officials. The relevant Public Order can be seen here.
All electrical work is currently permissible in accordance with all health and safety regulations
NSW Government commits to continuing deliver of infrastructure program
In a letter to the construction industry, NSW Treasurer stated: I want to assure the construction and engineering sectors in NSW that our Government is resolved to continue delivery of its infrastructure program. See the letter in full here.
Federal Parliament passes the Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus
- Yesterday, the Federal Parliament passed the Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus stimulus package that was announced earlier this month. Further details are below. The assistance under the package will be available from 27 April 2020 and NECA colleagues will be supporting members access the support.
Youth Allowance, Austudy And Abstudy To Be Included In Coronavirus Package
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann advised the Senate that people on Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy will now be included in the supplement package, giving them an additional $550 per fortnight.
This assistance will be made available from April 2020.
Key past announcements
On 17th March the NSW Government announced a $2.6bn stimulus, including the following measures to support business. Details can be seen here.
Schools remain open in NSW, as per Federal Government guidelines. However, the NSW Premier has asked parents to keep children at home where possible.
The Federal Government package includes the following measures:
- expansion to the eligibility of Jobseeker Payments to support sole traders and the self-employed,
- cash payment of up to $100,000 for the period March 2020 to September 2020, worth 100% of the tax those small and medium size businesses (SME) with a turnover less than $50 million are withholding from their employee’s salary and wages,
- coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support SMEs with a turnover less than $50 million. The Commonwealth will guarantee 50%, through the participating banks, of an eligible loan to small and medium enterprise customers that have been impacted by the coronavirus,
- cash flow support to employers, whereby the Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible SMEs, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000,
- temporary relief for financially distressed businesses,
- immediate, quick and efficient credit for SMEs.
On 22nd March, the Prime Minister and Premiers announced Stage 1 restrictions on social gathering meaning the following “non-essential venues” will be closed:
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
- Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
- Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).
Business advice and support
NECA is mobilising resources to support members, in particular to access government support outlined above.
Relevant employment legislation – Fair Work has published these FAQs which providing guidance on managing employment issues arising from COVID 19.
Webinars - NECA is hosting a series of webinars, which members can register for here.
Workplace health and safety advice and support
For information please log on into the NECA TKB. To access TKB, please click on the link www.necatkb.com
Once you have logged in click on the Safety STAR icon. Safety STAR is located on the NECA TKB website, you will need to log into NECA TKB.
Policy proposals/ media releases
NECA is developing a comprehensive set of policy proposals aimed at helping members manage the current crisis and rebuild in the future.
Payroll tax: NECA is calling for state governments to give businesses a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ by abolishing payroll tax for all small and medium businesses to help combat the continued economic turmoil caused by COVID-19.Link to media release
Contracting an essential service: Electrical contracting constitutes an essential service as set out in legislation, and NECA will be advocating accordingly so work can go ahead when it is safe to do so.
Please monitor the following sources for the latest health advice:
NECA has a dedicated webpage for all COVID 19 updates here.