New federal lockdown support for NSW businesses amid Sydney COVID-19 outbreak

New federal lockdown support for NSW businesses amid Sydney COVID-19 outbreak

Fresh from the most recent round of state support for COVID-19-hit NSW businesses, there’s now an important expansion on the federal employee ‘Disaster Payment’ as well as additional business relief packages.

This further extension of funds for employees who have lost work due to the lockdown is coupled with business relief packages and the announcement of an extension to Greater Sydney’s lockdown.

New business relief package

On 13 July, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a new business relief package that will be shouldered financially by both state and federal governments.

With Sydney and NSW the testing grounds for this business relief, any other state that experiences a similar circumstance will also be eligible for the same federal support.

As Scott Morrison said of the announcement:

“It is in the national interest that we now put in place a different set of arrangements with the states and territories”. 

The details of the business relief package being extended to businesses are as follows:

  • For businesses turning over between $75,000 and $50 million per annum, you may receive a payment of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week, providing you can show a 30% reduction in turnover compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
  • Micro businesses turning over between $30,000 and $75,000 can apply for a $1,500 per fortnight payment, backdated to the beginning of restrictions.
  • If you’re a sole trader or do not employ staff, your payment will be capped at $1,000 per week.
  • You must maintain your current levels of staffing to qualify and there is Disaster Payment relief for those workers unable to attend your business.
  • This payment must not be more than 40% of your payroll, where the relief package will be capped.
  • To sign up for alerts and keep on top the evolving business support situation, please visit Service NSW and enter your business details.

What are the new Disaster Payment details?

The newly enhanced Disaster Payment, which is a federal initiative and not a NSW state initiative, will be offered to individuals out of work due to the pervasive restrictions in Greater Sydney and surrounding areas.

From Sunday 18 July, the Covid-19 Disaster Payment in NSW will be as follows:

  • If an individual has lost 20+ hours per week, the payment will increase from $500 to $600 per week.
  • If an individual has lost between 8 and 20 hours per week, the payment will increase from $325 to $375 per week.
  • This payment is being directed at the lockdown area and will apply to all employees, whether casual, part-time or full-time.

If you or your employees are impacted in this way, please reach out to Services Australia to receive this financial support.

Lockdown extended

As of 14 July, we’ve now received word from the NSW Premier that the lockdown has been extended by two weeks from its original end date of 16 July until 30 July.

The following areas are included in the lockdown:

  • Greater Sydney
  • Wollongong
  • Central Coast
  • Blue Mountains
  • Shellharbour

Residents, businesses, and employees in these areas will now be under restrictions for at least a further two weeks until 30 July.

For a full list of restrictions, please refer to the NSW health website.

Reminder about masks and QR codes

As you may well be aware, it’s your responsibility as a business owner to ensure masks are worn inside your premises, social distancing is imposed, and that COVID Safe Check-In QR codes are prominently displayed and used.

To fully understand your business’s responsibilities and to gain assistance in creating a COVID-19 safety plan, please visit the NSW Government COVID Safe page.