Further lockdowns announced

With lockdowns currently underway in three states due to Covid-19 outbreaks, NIBA staff will once again be working from their home offices/dining tables.

Written on 20 July, 2021
Allyssa Hextell

With lockdowns currently underway in three states due to Covid-19 outbreaks, NIBA staff will once again be working from their home offices/dining tables.

For members in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas), Orange, Victoria or South Australia NIBA encourages you to work from home where at all possible.

Am I allowed in the office?

As financial service providers, brokers’ office premises are permitted to remain open however, only staff that cannot work from home are permitted to work on-site.

If you cannot work from home and you go to a workplace that is allowed to be open, you must wear a face mask (unless an exemption applies). Brokers in South Australia are not required to wear a face mask in the office unless interacting with members of the public.

Employers must allow an employee to work from home if the employee is reasonably able to do so. Businesses that do not allow employees that can reasonably work from home to do so face a fine of up to $100,000 depending on their jurisdiction.

For NSW brokers who live in Fairfield, Liverpool or Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas, you cannot leave these areas to attend an office premises, even if the work cannot be performed from home.

Urgent Repairs

Both the NSW and SA governments have announced a pause on all non-urgent repairs, which is likely to impact a number of claims.

Urgent repairs are still able to be carried out during this period. Urgent repairs are defined as repairs:

a. to ensure the health, safety or security of the place of residence or the members of the household, or

b. because of an emergency.

Urgent repairs to motor vehicles are also permitted.

What support is available to me?

State governments have announced a range of financial assistance packages for affected businesses.

New South Wales
Covid19 Business Grant

From Monday 19th July, eligible businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations will be able to apply for a grant of up to $15,000 as part of the NSW governments’ 2021 COVID-19 Business  Grant.

The grants, ranging between $7,500 and $15,000, will be available to NSW businesses that have a turnover of more than $75,000 and up to $50 million and have a total annual wages bill of less than $10 million.

JobSaver

From Monday 26th July, Fortnightly payments will be made available to help maintain employee headcount and provide cashflow support to businesses. To be eligible businesses must have an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million and experience a decline in revenue of 30% or more.

Businesses that employ one or more people will receive payments equal to 40% of the weekly payroll with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum payment of $10,000 per week.

Micro Business Support Grant

From Monday 26th July, the Micro Business Support Grant will be available for eligible businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 that experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more. Eligible businesses will receive a payment of $1,500, per fortnight of restrictions.

For more information on these packages, including how to apply click here

Victoria

Businesses that previously received payments as part of the Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive a further payment of $2,000 from the Victorian government. This payment will be processed automatically.

For more information click here.

South Australia
Business Support Grant

Small and medium businesses with an annual turnover of more than $75,000 and a payroll of less than $10 million may be eligible for a $3,000 cash grant. Sole traders can apply for a $1,000 grant.

To be eligible businesses must experience a 30% decline in turnover in the week of Tuesday 20 July 2021 – Monday 26 July 2021 (inclusive) compared to the previous week

Applications for the Grant open in the next 2 weeks, to register your interest click here

Recipients of payments from Rounds 1 and 2 of the Small Business Grant will be contacted by Treasury, with the application process and payments ex[edited where business details have not changed

For more information click here

Where can I get more information?

Links to relevant state government webpages can be found below

Where can I get support?

Lockdowns and the uncertainty that accompanies them can often leave people feeling anxious, upset, frustrated and isolated. If these feelings are interfering with your daily routine, or if you feel overwhelmed, it is important to ask for help. Encourage friends and family to seek assistance too if needed.