This article has been prepared by Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers.
Many Australian businesses have relied on JobKeeper supplements to aid their businesses in weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the JobKeeper scheme slated to cease on 28 March 2021, it is clear that reliance on government subsidies cannot be a long-term practice, and that the time for businesses to start planning ahead is now.
It is not even just the end of JobKeeper that businesses have to contemplate. Other concerns include the impending end of bank loan interest and repayment pauses; rent relief measures; PAYG tax deferrals and other temporary relief measures that are creeping to an imminent end.
The net effect of these changes means that businesses need to start planning in advance to mitigate any potential risk. In May 2020, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) revealed that unfair dismissal claims increased by 70% off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the difficult decisions that will have to be made come 2021, it is reasonable to expect a similar, if not larger wave of FWC claims once JobKeeper is brought to an end. Therefore, to ensure your business is protected as much as possible from any unnecessary risk, it is pertinent to turn your attention to what businesses need to be aware of in the lead-up to a post-JobKeeper, post-lockdown world.
You can find some relevant guidance in the following article series:
Part 1: Risk Assessment
Part 2: Is our ability to make an employee redundant impacted by our eligibility for JobKeeper?
Part 3: The Importance of a Strong Business Case
Part 4: Being aware of obligations and options
Part 5: Safeguarding employees’ mental and physical health in the time of COVID-19
Part 6: Planning Ahead
Disclaimer: This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2020.