HELPING PEOPLE GET BACK TO WORK, WORKING FOR VICTORIA
– as at 8 April 2020
Almost 1,300 people who were looking for a job due to the coronavirus crisis are now working for Victoria thanks to the Victorian Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Jobs Martin Pakula today to announce the first raft of positions secured through the Working for Victoria Fund – with thousands more to benefit in the coming weeks and months.
More than 60 people have taken up new roles with Foodbank – helping prepare care packages for people in need across Victoria. Foodbank has received a grant through the Fund to support the new team members.
Around 450 jobseekers have found work in roles connected to the quarantine program for returning international travellers – including transport operations, security and cleaning – while others are working in call centres, including as part of coronavirus contact tracing efforts, help lines and administration.
We are also putting the call out to businesses – if you need workers, we can match you with staff quickly. Free online courses in cleaning, food hygiene, first aid and other important skills are also now available to people who have lost their jobs and are registered with Working for Victoria – so they’re ready for the call-up to work.
More than 2,500 workers are expected to be placed through the $500 million Working for Victoria Fund by the end of next week. The Fund is part of the Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package that is providing a range of support to Victorian businesses.
Small businesses have taken up the offer of assistance with more than 16,000 applications for Business Support Fund grants – $50 million in grants will have been paid to 5,000 businesses across the state by the end of today.
The Government has also paid back more than $384 million in payroll tax refunds – putting cash back in the bank of nearly 17,000 small and medium-sized businesses.
Liquor licensing fees have been waived for more than 20,000 pubs, clubs, hotels and bottle-shops, and no tenant in a government building is paying rent – helping them survive to the other side of the crisis.
Working for Victoria is open to workers who have recently lost their job or casuals who no longer have shifts – including international students and temporary migrants. Relocation, accommodation and transport subsides are available to eligible participants. Businesses and workers can register at vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria.
The Government will continue to work closely with business and unions and will announce further support over the coming weeks and months, in consultation with the Commonwealth, as the impacts of the coronavirus evolve.
“This is just the beginning – over the coming weeks thousands of Victorians will be matched with employers that need staff, and given the support they need to skill up and start work.” – Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’re supporting jobs by providing businesses with grants and cash refunds – and trained, willing workers.” – Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula
“Giving Victorians new skills will be vital in getting through this crisis – that’s why we’re offering these free online courses through Working for Victoria.” – Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
ECONOMIC SURVIVAL PACKAGE TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES AND JOBS – PREMIER DAN ANDREWS
– as at 31 March 2020
The Victorian Government will pump billions of dollars into the economy to help Victorian businesses and workers survive the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas today announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, which has been developed following discussions at National Cabinet and complements the work of the Federal Government.
As part of the package, the Government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million – giving $550 million back to businesses who need it.
Payments will start flowing next week and will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year, with businesses saving an average of $23,000. These businesses employ around 400,000 workers. This assistance is a refund, not a loan.
The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021, freeing up a further $83 million in cashflow.
Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief – a move private landlords are also being encouraged to undertake – and 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses.
The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days – releasing up to $750 million into the economy earlier. The private sector is urged to do the same where possible. The Government will also support the hospitality sector by waiving liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses.
We will also provide $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail.
The Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund, which will help these businesses – which may not be eligible for payroll tax refunds due to their size – survive and keep people in work.
The Government will establish a $500 million Working for Victoria Fund in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council. The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most.
The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles.
Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty the pandemic is causing, the 2020-21 Victorian Budget will be deferred – in line with all other Australian Governments and agreed by National Cabinet. The Government’s base review outcomes will also be deferred.
The comprehensive package announced today has been developed to support small and medium sized businesses, and the Government is asking businesses to do whatever they can to support their workers.
The Government will continue to work closely with business and unions, and will announce further support over the coming weeks and months, in consultation with the Commonwealth, as the impacts of the coronavirus continue to evolve.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We’ve listened to business and workers and now we’re taking unique and unprecedented action to help businesses and their workers through this crisis.”
“Cash is better in the hands of struggling businesses than in a Government bank account right now – Victorian workers need us to step up to help get them through”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“This is the first of many announcements we will make to help Victorian businesses survive and keep people in work.”
“We’re working in lock-step with the Federal Government to make sure our support complements their work as we weather this unprecedented global economic storm.”
GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT ON BUSINESS SUPPORT
– as at 30 March 2020
Recognising the critical challenge for businesses to try and survive the impacts of COVID-19 the State Government released details on Saturday of their Business support Fund and the Federal Government has today announced a Job Keeper package.
Please see overview and link to each of these programs below.
Federal Government – Job Keeper package – details announced Monday 30 March
The Federal Government have today announced a $130 Billion Job Keeper program designed to support businesses keeping their employees working. For full details of the announcement read the media release here.
State Government – Business Support Fund – details announced Saturday 28 March
The Victorian Government has launched the details of the $500 million Business Support Fund to help small businesses survive the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and keep people in work. The Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.
The Business Support Fund will help small businesses highly impacted by shutdown restrictions. Those businesses can apply for a $10,000 grant towards operational costs and to help keep people in work. To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff, have payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage
The Federal Government has released two new channels to enable you to be kept abreast of official announcements, information and advice:-
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES – THE AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE (ATO)
Businesses impacted by coronavirus can phone the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help or visit their website for more information. The following measures will be administered by the ATO:
Enhancing the instant asset write-off – the government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).
Backing business incentive – the government is introducing a time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short-term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers – the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure will provide up to $25,000 back to business, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will provide temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses that employ staff during the economic downturn associated with Coronavirus. The payment will be tax free.
Coronavirus crisis sees Banking Association announce six-month loan repayment deferrals for small businesses.
As part of a $1.7 billion economic survival package, the Victorian Government has announced $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
To register your interest in receiving more details of the program please provide your contact information here.
The Prime Minister has announced a $17 billion stimulus package, with $1 billion committed to the tourism sector, in response to the impacts of coronavirus. Read the official media release.
SUPPORT FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS
Temporary visa holders with work rights allowed access to super
The Australian Government has announced most temporary visa holders with work rights will be allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 of their Australian superannuation this financial year to help them through the crisis. Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said people on temporary skilled visas who have been stood down, rather than laid off, could have their visas extended under normal arrangements, while businesses could also reduce their hours without breaching conditions. But he said those who have been sacked and are unable to find a new sponsor should leave the country.
Visa extensions for seasonal workers and working holiday makers
The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is making temporary changes to visa arrangements to help farmers access the workforce they need to secure Australia’s food and produce supply during the coronavirus. The changes allow those within the Pacific Labour Scheme, Seasonal Worker Program and Working Holiday-makers to continue to work in agriculture and food processing until the coronavirus crisis has passed.
Before moving to other parts of the country, working holiday makers will need to self-isolate for 14 days and register at the Australia.gov.au website. Those who do not comply will face having their visas cancelled. For more information.