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ACAPMA Daily COVID-19 Roundup

Daily COVID-19 Roundup  |  as at 17:00   08/04/2020

 

 

This is a short (ok todays is really long – and there is a whole separate email to come, and it is even longer – grab a drink and read on) message to capture the items of change and interest for businesses in the downstream petroleum industry in light of the COVID-19 situation.   

Pro Tip: Make sure you go all the way to the bottom for todays fun fact.

 

This message has been sent to the Principle for each business as per the ACAPMA Member Register.  Please feel free to forward through your business as required.

 

Follow ACAPMA on LinkedIn for articles and resources as they are released;  https://au.linkedin.com/company/australasian-convenience-and-petroleum-marketers-association-acapma-

 

  Whats New - Changes and Items of Interest

 

  • JobKeeper Wage Subsidy program – more than just a handout – Flexibility and Innovation changes to the Fair Work Act

The legislation to effect the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy has been tabled and extensively debated today.  This includes the companion legislation that is aimed at opening pathways for businesses to greater flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.  The politicians are still wrangling on the final wording but it is clear from the draft Bill that eligible employers will be able to make Directions to eligible employees that result in a change in hours (including down to zero), change to duties and change to work location.  The employee will be required to abide by the Directions given (as long as the Directions comply with the requirements).  This is a massive change to the employment landscape and will empower businesses to seek and follow innovative ways to stay operational and connected to their staff in the coming months.  ACPAMA will be watching throughout the night as the Bill takes its final form and will send all members a (very long, and very detailed) email containing all of the information on not only the JobKeeper Payment but also the special provisions designed to foster innovation and flexibility.

 

  • WA Employers Beware – the Flexibility and Innovation changes to the Fair Work Act only apply to National System Employers

While the JobKeeper Payment itself may be available to all eligible employers, WA businesses are cautioned that the changes to the Fair Work Act allowing Directions regarding hours, duties, location etc are only available to National System Employers.  This means that only constitutional corporations (including Pty Ltd) in WA can access these changes.  Sole Traders, unincorporated partnerships and unincorporated trusts are State System Employers and will not be eligible to access the flexibility and innovation changes announced today.  ACAPMA is lobbying the WA State Government to take all steps necessary to implement changes that will allow the same level of flexibility and innovation in these State System Employers.

 

  • Unacceptable and un-Australian – Abuse, aggression and violence towards retail staff is not on

Late yesterday ACAPMA released new resources aimed at curbing the small, but disturbing, trend of increased aggression instore.  For more information including posters see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/04/aggression-is-not-on-managing-customer-aggression-onsite/

 

  • ACCC is providing detailed advice on COVID-19 effected businesses, pricing and compliance

See; https://www.accc.gov.au/speech/managing-the-impacts-of-covid-19-disruption-on-consumers-and-business for more.

 

  • Roadhouse Dining – Update

The Saga has been a sore point and a cause of much frustration for businesses, staff and truckies alike.  Today ACAPMA provides the following State by State update based on our advice from the States Premiers Officers.  We will keep chasing until we have them all;

    • NT has confirmed it will honour the National exemption – Tables can open again 😊
      This should mean that there are no more issues with Roadhouse tables (provided that they meet distancing requirements and restrictions in the National Exemption) in NT.
    • VIC has issued a State exemption – Tables can open again 😊

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/202004/Direction%20-%20Restricted%20Activity%20No.2%20%28signed%29.pdf This should mean that there are no more issues with Roadhouse tables (provided that they meet distancing requirements in the National and VIC Exemption) in VIC. 

    • WA has issued a State exemption – Tables can open again 😊

https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Closure%20and%20Restriction%20%28Limit%20the%20Spread%29%20Directions_0.pdf

This should mean that there are no more issues with Roadhouse tables (provided that they meet distancing requirements and other requirements in the exemption (see 14.ii and definitions Protocol) in WA. 

    • NSW has issued a State exemption – Tables can open again 😊

https://gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2020_2020-72.pdf

This should mean that there are no more issues with Roadhouse tables (provided that they meet distancing requirements in the National Exemption) in NSW.

    • QLD - TBA
    • SA - TBA
    • TAS - TBA
    • ACT - TBA


If there are further issues please forward site address and the enforcement officers details if known ASAP to ACAPMA via communications@acapma.com.au for urgent action


For more on the Roadhouse Disaster and the public response see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/04/road-safety-risk-as-state-governments-drag-feet-on-roadhouse-exemption/.  For more on the heightened social distancing and cleaning requirements for roadhouses dining open areas, see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/roadhouses-open-for-dine-inagain/ for more information and posters

  Q & A with ACAPMA

 

New Questions…

 

Almost unbelievably there have been no global new questions today – though, as the national media speculates over JobKeepers final form there have been many old ones.  As noted above, the detailed operation and impact of JobKeeper Payment and Flexibility and Innovation Provisions, will be sent out as soon as the final form is settled by the pollies.  Until there is agreement everyone else is just guessing…

 

This old question now has an answer 😊…

 

Q:  My business is new, but I transferred staff from the old business.  Are the casual staff who have been with the old and new business for a total of at least 12 months eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment?

A:  Yes!  Treasury has confirmed that the business will need to show that the casual has been engaged for at least 12 months but that if that can be proven the service with the original employer will count and the employee will be eligible for the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy. See page 5 and 6 for more; https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/JobKeeper_frequently_asked_questions_0.pdf

 

 

Open questions still waiting for answers or expansion
(we will fold these answers into the Whats New section as soon as we have an answer, but will keep here in the mean time)…

 

Q:  Will the JobKeeper Subsidy apply to Student Visa Holders? 

A:  At this point the subsidy only is available to; staff that are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.  ACAPMA is actively pursuing proposals to bolster support for this staff group, further detail to follow as appropriate.

 

Q:  Will the JobKeeper Subsidy count as wages for Workers Compensation?

A:  ACAPMA has received this question and has escalated to Treasury, we anticipate an answer shortly and will communicate once received.  This question will remain in the Q & A section in the coming days until answered.

 

Q:  Will the JobKeeper Subsidy count as revenue for the business?

A:  ACAPMA has received this question and has escalated to Treasury, we anticipate an answer shortly and will communicate once received.  This question will remain in the Q & A section in the coming days until answered.

 

Q:  Will the JobKeeper Subsidy count as payroll for payroll tax?  (Noting that there has been a deferral of payroll tax liability in most jurisdictions, but it will still need to be paid)

A:  ACAPMA has received this question and has escalated to Treasury, we anticipate an answer shortly and will communicate once received.  This question will remain in the Q & A section in the coming days until answered.

 

Q:  If staff are terminated, for poor performance or abandonment, do they still get the JobKeeper Subsidy?

A:  Unlikely.  The answer is unclear at the moment in terms of the mechanics of how the business would notify the ATO and if claim-back would be required.  ACAPMA is seeking further clarification on this now, but it is unlikely that payment will continue as the point of the subsidy is to for people keeping their jobs.  ACAPMA has received this question and has escalated to Treasury, we anticipate an answer shortly and will communicate once received.  This question will remain in the Q & A section in the coming days until answered.

 

Q:  I am unsure about whether my business is eligible to register for the new JobKeeper Subsidy payment given my revenue fall is not at 30% but it likely to be. Should I register?

A:  YES ! Even is your revenue has not yet fallen by 30% in the past month (relative to March last year) but you expect the April or May revenues will fall by 30% over the comparative month last year, then you should apply now. There is a simple rule here. If in doubt register now anyway. This will ensure that you receive the regular updates on eligibility and progressive details about how the scheme will work.

 

Q:  With the JobKeeper Subsidy if an employee has other jobs (like a casual that is working for several businesses) which company claims and pays the subsidy?

A:  This is a current detailed area of consideration by the Australian Treasury Office. Because the whole process works through the Australian Taxation system, casual or part time employees working in multiple jobs will only be able to claim the payment once. And that employer will most likely be the one for which the employee has claimed the tax-free threshold. All businesses who are eligible for the Job Keeper payments need only register with the ATO and the ATO will provide detailed advice in all of these cases prior to payments being made in the first week of May.

 

 

   ACAPMA Consolidated COVID-19 Articles and Resources (updated daily)

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

OPERATIONS

 

BORDER CLOSURES

 

BUSINESS RELIEF MEASURES

 

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Email employment@acapma.com.au and we will get you answers and fold those answers into these consolidated articles

 

STAY UP TO DATE

 

   Follow ACAPMA on LinkedIn, so you get the daily updates - https://au.linkedin.com/company/australasian-convenience-and-petroleum-marketers-association-acapma-

 

 

We look forward to a time when we will not have to send out these daily updates, but for now the situation is changing so rapidly that these updates are seen as necessary to ensure that Members are updated.  If you would like to be removed from the update list please reply to this email and request removal.

 

 

   A fun fact to end today;

 

                         Humans have jumped further than horses in the Olympics …

 

   (as we all try to keep our spirits up I will be accepting your jokes and fun facts – prizes to those who bring a joke I haven’t heard before) 

 

 

 

Stay safe everyone – long distance hugs and high fives for you all! 

 

E

 

Should you require any further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kindest Regards

 

Elisha Radwanowski

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