HVIA will continue to provide support for our members seeking clarity in addressing and understanding the issues brought on by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
The heavy vehicle industry is working hard to ensure that the nation’s supply chains continue with as few interruptions as possible.
State and Federal Governments have been working closely with industry to keep our vital supply chain functioning. The road freight industry is termed as an essential industry and is therefore able to continue work, despite state shutdowns, including continuing to work cross borders.
That means that our industry also has an essential role to play. Whilst some offices, outlets and factories may voluntarily and temporarily shut down, HVIA members’ ability to provide service, maintenance and other support is crucial.
HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking says that the responsibility couldn’t be in better hands.
“Our members are adapting to the pressures and evolving circumstances in very practical ways,” Mr Hacking said.
“They are shutting down non-essential parts of their businesses, they are implementing recommended hygiene initiatives, and they are looking at every opportunity to consider the well-being of their employees, who like the rest of the community are under great stress from this rapidly evolving crisis.
“But on the front line they are continuing to deliver the support and service that will keep Australia’s road freight transport network moving,” he said.
“We are immensely proud of our industry’s determination to contribute to helping Australia through this crisis.”
HVIA will issue further member advice as soon as we can, on practical measures to continue to operate safely, and will continue to provide information during this evolving pandemic.
Over the weekend, an additional series of announcements have been made about stimulus and “life support” measures from the Federal Government with additional initiatives also being announced by state governments.
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers
The Government is providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 to assist businesses’ cash flow to keep operating, paying rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.
- Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld with a minimum of $10,000 and maximum payment of $50,000, available from 28 April 2020.
- The link to staff wage tax withholdings, is designed to incentivise businesses to hold on to more of their workers.
- The payments are tax free, there will be no new forms and payments will flow automatically through the ATO.
- Small and medium business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible.
- An additional payment is also being made from 28 July 2020. Eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received.
Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business
The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus.
- Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.
Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.
- Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent.
- The Corporations Act 2001 will be amended to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus.
This builds on the first economic support package, which included:
- increasing the instant asset write off
- accelerated depreciation deductions
- supporting apprentices and trainees
For employees and sole traders
State Government responses for business
- NSW: https://preview.nsw.gov.au/news/health-boost-and-economic-stimulus
- Victoria: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/economic-survival-package-to-support-businesses-and-jobs/
- Queensland: https://www.qld.gov.au/about/industry-recovery
- South Australia: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/business-and-trade/running-a-business/preparing-a-business-continuity-plan
- Western Australia: https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2020/03/COVID-19-economic-response-Relief-for-businesses-and-households.aspx
- Tasmania: https://www.business.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/226377/Stimulus_Packages-Small_business_-_COVID-19_Fact_Sheet.pdf
- ACT: https://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/budget/covid-19-economic-survival-package
- NT: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/community-advice/business
The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic is the most unprecedented disruption to our society in seventy-five years, and the situation is causing anxiety and stress for business owners and employees alike.
HVIA Employer Assist partner Industry Legal Group, has prepared a guide to assist employers to prepare for how the outbreak may impact the workplace, including:
- Health and Safety
- Alternate work arrangements i.e. working from home
- Leave Entitlements
- Temporary Closures – stoppage or shortage of work – including provisions to stand down employees
If you require further advice, please contact Employer Assist on 07 3376 6266 or email email@example.com
SOME USEFUL RESOURCES
- Australian Department of Health: Coronavirus (COVID-19) -Daily Health Alert
- World Health Organisation (WHO): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
- WHO – Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
- Safe Work Australia
- Health and safety bodies in your state or territory
- Coronavirus Health Information Line – 1800 020 080
Please look out for your own and you team’s well-being. We are here for you.
If there are any issues that we can provide assistance or act as a conduit to regulators and government, please don’t hesitate to call.
Todd Hacking and the HVIA team
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