ACAPMA Daily COVID-19 Roundup | as at 17:00 14/5/2020
Well…….. The NSW Government has taken the lead in adding more stress to small business, and without doubt NSW is now the best preforming Labour Government in Australia, Gladys you have puts both Danny and Annie to shame.
Please read below latest update in NSW, they have followed SA lead and I suspect all other state will also implement this policy. This means we need to double down on our process around Covid – 19
We can deal with this
Keep safe, keep Calm and Keep Positive, there is a beautiful New Sunrise, just a few hours away.
Daily COVID-19 Roundup | as at 17:00 14/05/2020 (last Roundup 12/05/2020)
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.
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Whats New - Changes and Items of Interest
- NSW legislates COVID-19 as ‘caused by work’….
Last night the NSW Parliament passed a Bill that gives effect to a wide number of changes to numerous pieces of legislation. One thing that has appeared as part of an amendment that was tabled and passed yesterday, is a change to the Work Health and Safety laws in NSW…
Any employee who contracts COVID-19, and who is employed by a ‘proscribed employer’ will be deemed to have contracted the disease at work, unless proven otherwise, and will be entitled to workers compensation from the time of contraction of the disease, until 7 days AFTER being cleared as no longer infected by a medical professional, or their death, whichever comes first
There is a lot to take in in that sentence (and no hyperbole the amendment actually says death or 7 days post recovery, whichever comes first, and currently the death benefit is $817,000).
What is critical to understand is what is a ‘proscribed employer’ the amendment lists out many diverse industries, the first amount them is the retail industry. Restaurants and cafes are included as well. There is also scope for the Regulation that will be made by the regulator in the coming days, to determine additional industries, employers or employments that will be covered by this change.
The Regulations that will make flesh out the changes in a practical sense are being drawn up now, while they have not been released, following conversations about this change and the Regulations it is understood by ACAPMA that the Regulations will mitigate the seeming harshness of the changes in the following ways;
- Cost of Deemed COVID-19 claims will not be covered by the business in the form of premium penalties or increases, but be absorbed by the whole workers compensation scheme
- Deemed COVID-19 Claims will not be attributed to a business claims history
- Deemed COVID-19 Claims will not rise to the standard of negligence on the part of the business
The amendment has been met with the same level of concern that a similar proposed change in South Australia saw from many quarters, however if the Regulations end up as ACAPMA understands they will the concern and opposition to the changes will be mostly addressed.
With the passing of the amendment, there are now calls for all other States to adopt similar measures.
ACAPMA will keep members posted on this as discussions unfold.
For those of you interested in reading the full text of the change, see pages 39-40 https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bill/files/3745/Passed%20by%20both%20Houses.pdf
- JobKeeper Payment Dates update
There has been some movement on the JobKeeper Payment dates – see the Q & A section below for more information
- ACAPMA Fuel Industry COVIDSafe Plan…coming soon
As the restrictions are easing across the country many businesses are contemplating how to ‘open back up’. The fuel industry did not close, and so, does not have the same drive towards opening up (though we wouldn’t mind more customers on the road). But there is an imperative to ensure that all fuel industry businesses are meeting the best practice risk management requirements that COVID-19 presents…and not in a general sense, but in a very industry specific sense. To assist members with this ACAPMA will be releasing a Best Practice Guide and Fuel Industry COVIDSafe Plan that sets a standard for compliant operations in the industry. The Plan will be followed by the release of staff level training, specifically aimed at COVID-19 control measures. The Fuel Industry COVIDSafe Plan will be released on Friday…watch this space 😊
Q & A with ACAPMA
Still many questions about the pay deadlines for the JobKeeper Program. The published payment schedule has not changed, but it is worth noting that an additional note (under a hat ^) has been added to the table that highlights that you do not need to change your payroll date or cycle if you are paying through your normal payroll solution. It is hoped that this change will give businesses comfort in proceeding to process their JobKeeper Wage Condition Payments.
It is worth noting though, that the stated goal of the ‘paid on or by dates’ is to ensure that the employees are not waiting for their payments – all businesses are on notice that as we are in the active period all staff should be receiving their JobKeeper Payment or Top Up as soon as reasonably practicable according to the business pay cycle and without delay. If a business is found to be delaying this process they, and the directors could face penalties.
“^ When paying eligible employees, you do not need to adjust your pay cycle through your existing payroll solution.”
ACAPMA Consolidated COVID-19 Articles and Resources (updated daily)
- For general information on the situation and the implications for employing staff, including new sections on Payments and Leave, and considerations around business downturn see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/hr-highlight-managing-covid19-risk-in-the-workplace/
- For information and resources on Keeping Customers and Staff Safe instore from a practical standpoint see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/hr-highlight-covid-19-keeping-customers-and-staff-safe/
- For practical guidance on achieving Social Distancing in Retail, including guides and posters see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/safe-distancing-in-retail-maximum-vs-practical-limits-and-communications-to-customers/
- For practical guidance on Roadhouses and the exemptions to allow Dine In for Heavy Vehicle Drivers, including guides and posters see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/04/states-confirm-roadhouse-open-for-dine-in-for-heavy-vehicle-drivers/
- For information on Boarder Closures see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/border-restrictions-what-you-need-to-know/
BUSINESS RELIEF MEASURES
- For information on the raft of support measures available to businesses, including the Job keeper Wage Subsidy see; https://acapmag.com.au/2020/03/wage-subsidy-what-you-need-to-know/
- For the one stop list of all COVID-19 Business Support Measures, including links and information see the ACAPMA COVID-19 Business Assistance Quick Reference Guide.pdf – ACAPMA Members can request a copy of the Guide by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Email email@example.com and we will get you answers and fold those answers into these consolidated articles
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Stay safe everyone – long distance hugs and high fives for you all!
Should you require any further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.