COVID-19 related support measures for clubs, employees & participants

by Bowls Australia

This resource provides a summary of the support that will be accessible to the bowls community over the coming months via various government agencies.

The information provided may not be exhaustive but is current as of the date of publication.


Version 6: Updated April 23, 2020.

Following are the changes to the document since the April 16 version:

  • Version number and date
  • In Clubs/Associations – Nationally
    • Not a change but an important reminder
      • Even though businesses have registered their interest in JobKeeper, they must still enrol through the ATO’s Business Portal from April 20 to make claims for JobKeeper payments in April.  Those businesses that do not enrol by the end of April will miss out on any payments for late-March/April.
    • All links updated in the JobKeeper Payment section
    • Last paragraph in JobKeeper Payment section in relation to sole traders who are set up trusts or partnerships – new link also added

o   Link updated in temporary relief for financially distressed businesses section

  • In Employees/Participants – Nationally
    • Link updated in early access to super section
  • NSW
    • Minor update to the small business grants section – some Clubs registered as companies have been deemed as ineligible – this situation is now being re-assessed by NSW Treasury
  • WA
    • Section on LotteryWest grants updated
  • TAS
    • New section on business vehicle registration relief

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – NATIONALLY

  • Wage subsidy for Clubs/Associations who employ staff – JobKeeper Payments
    • Clubs impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to claim a fortnightly subsidy of $1,500 per eligible employee from the Government to continue paying their employees.
    • Eligibility – Clubs/Associations:
      • if turnover/income will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month);
      • the business must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees (see below) as at March 1, 2020 and confirm that each employee is currently employed. This includes employees that are stood down or have been re-hired.
    • Eligibility – Employees:
      • are currently employed by the Club (including those who are stood down or re-hired);
      • were employed by the Club on March 1, 2020;
      • are full time, part time or long term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at March 1, 2020);
      • are at least 16 years of age;
      • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
      • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper payment from another employer.
    • Businesses should register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper payment immediately via completing a form found via this link: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/enrol-and- apply-for-the-jobkeeper-payment/
    • Businesses then need to notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another
    • Businesses are required to send JobKeeper employee nomination notices to nominated employees to complete and return by the end of April if the business plans to claim JobKeeper payment for April. These notices must be kept on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
    • From 20 April, businesses should enrol with the ATO for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal (https://bp.ato.gov.au) and authenticate with myGovID. Businesses must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for
    • Businesses must then specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).
    • Pay the minimum $1,500 to each eligible employee who has returned their Employee Nomination Notice, per JobKeeper fortnight. The first fortnight starts on 30 March and ends on 12 April. Alternatively, you can make one combined payment of $3,000 for the first two fortnights paid by the end of April
    • Enrol for JobKeeper from 20 April using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID or via your registered tax agent. It is advisable to enrol by 26 April 2020 as you may lose the first series of payments if enrol after this
    • Businesses will receive the first payment in the first week of May, with payments backdated until the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April).
    • If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at minimum, $1,500 per fortnight before tax. The employer can choose to ‘top up’ this payment (above $1,500) if it wishes, but must not pay the employee less than $1,500 per
    • If an employee ordinarily receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee(s).
    • Where an employee is already accessing support though Services Australia (such as the JobSeeker payment) because they have been stood down or had their hours reduced and the business is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, the employee must advise Services Australia of their change in There can be no double dipping on the JobKeeper/JobSeeker payments.
    • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet_supporting_businesses_4.pdf
    • Employer specific factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employers_2.pdf
    • Employee specific factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employees_3.pdf
    • Please note that sole traders with ABNs (such as contract greenkeepers) will also be able to register for the JobKeeper payments, including for any staff they employ. Where sole traders are set up under a trust — one individual beneficiary (that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment. Where a sole trader operates through a partnership — one partner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
    • Sole trader specific factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet-Support_for_sole_traders_1.pdf
    • JobKeeper Frequently Asked Questions factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/JobKeeper_frequently_asked_questions_2.pdf
  • Loan guarantee scheme & relaxation of lending
    • Eligibility:
      • businesses with a turnover of less than $50M – includes Not-For-Profits.
      • The Government will provide a guarantee of 50% for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
      • Loans of up to $250,000 for up to three years, with a pause on repayments for six months – to commence by early April.
      • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Supporting_the_flow_of_credit_1.pdf
      • The Government is also providing an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. This exemption is for six months, and applies to any credit for business purposes, including new credit, credit limit increases and credit variations and restructures.
    • (2) Where Clubs/Associations are incorporated as Associations, the rules with respect to AGMs are determined by the relevant state/territory trading or consumer affairs department:

EMPLOYEES & PARTICIPANTS – NATIONALLY

  • Payments to support households
    • The Government is providing up to two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran, other income support recipients (including those who receive Family Tax Benefits) and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from March 31, 2020 and the second payment will be made from July 13, 2020. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners.
    • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Payments_to_support_households_0.pdf
  • Income support for individuals – JobSeeker Payments
    • For new and existing recipients of JobSeeker Payments (which replaced Newstart Allowance and a number of other payments from 20 March 2020), Parenting Payment, Youth Allowance for jobseekers, Youth Allowance for students, Austudy, Abstudy, Farm Household Allowance, and Special Benefit. The supplement will be paid for six months and almost doubles the maximum payment rate for a JobSeeker Payment recipient.
    • A $550 per fortnight supplementary payment will commence on April 27, 2020 and continue for six months.
    • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet-Income_Support_for_Individuals.pdf
  • Early access to superannuation
    • Eligibility – if after January 1, 2020:
      •  you were made redundant; or
      • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
      • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
    • Eligible individuals will be able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before July 1, 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from July 2, 2020 for approximately three months o More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-04/Fact_sheet-Early_Access_to_Super.pdf
  • Temporarily reducing minimum superannuation drawdowns and social security deeming rates
  • Bank home loan repayment pauses
    • Commonwealth Bank and ANZ customers struggling with the virus’s impact will be able to defer their home loan repayments for six months with interest capitalised.
    • NAB clients can also defer repayments for up to six months if you’re an owner-occupier, investor or on a principal and interest or interest only repayment schedule.
    • Westpac customers will have the option to defer for three months, with a possible three month extension, for those whose job or income has been affected.
  • Child care relief package
    • Around one million families are set to receive free child care. Under the plan, the Government will pay 50 per cent of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care. The funding will apply from April 6, 2020, based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into March 2, 2020, whether or not they are attending services. More details can be found at: https://ministers.dese.gov.au/morrison/early-childhood-education-and-care-relief-package

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Small business grants – please note that the eligibility for Clubs registered as companies is being re-assessed by NSW Treasury
    • Small businesses struggling to cope with the COVID-19 shutdown will receive grants of up to $10,000 under a new assistance scheme
    • Eligibility:
      • business has between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum;
      • a payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
      • have an ABN as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
      • be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020;
      • use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice;
      • provide appropriate documentation upon application.
    • Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW via the following link and remain open until 1 June 2020: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-covid-19- support-grant
  • Payroll tax waived
    • Businesses with a payroll of less than $10M will have their payroll tax waived for six months from April to September, 2020. Additionally, the threshold for payroll tax has been raised to $1M in 2020-21.
    • Bringing forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1M in 2020-21.
    • A range of fees and charges will be waived for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies.
  • Gaming tax deferred
    • Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff.

FOR EMPLOYEES, PARTICIPANTS – NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Utility costs
    • $30M to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme – no exact details as yet

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – VICTORIA

  • Small business grants through Business Support Fund
    • Small businesses that have been highly impacted by shutdown restrictions can now apply for a one-off $10,000 grant from the Victorian Government’s Business Support Fund.
    • Grants can be used towards business costs such as rent, utilities and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning, such as seeking financial and legal advice.
    • Eligibility:
      • businesses who employ staff;
      • have been subject to closure or is highly impacted by Non-Essential Activity Directions issued by the Deputy Chief Health Officer to-date;
      • have a turnover of more than $75,000;
      • have payroll of less than $650,000;
      • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 16 March 2020;
      • have been engaged in carrying out the operation of the business in Victoria on 16 March 2020.
    • Applications open on March 30, 2020 and close on June 1, 2020.
    • Applications can be lodged via this link: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-fund
  • Payroll tax waived
    • Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3M will have their payroll tax for the 2019-2020 financial year waived. Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year. Businesses will also be eligible to defer any payroll tax liability for the first three months of the 2020-21 financial year until January 1, 2021.
  • Liquor licence fees waived
    • Businesses that have paid for a renewable liquor licence for 2020 will be reimbursed their licence fee and those yet to pay will have the fee waived.
  • Land tax deferral
    • Land-owners due to pay 2020 land tax that has at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1M have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after December 31, 2020.
  • Business Support Fund
    • $500M has been announced to support “hard hit” sectors including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. More details to follow.
    • Eligibility:
      • businesses who employ staff;
      • have been subject to closure or is highly impacted by Non-Essential Activity Directions issued by the Deputy Chief Health Officer to-date;
      • have a turnover of more than $75,000;
      • have payroll of less than $650,000;
      • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 16 March 2020;
      • have been engaged in carrying out the operation of the business in the Australian State of Victoria on 16 March 2020.
    • Applications open on March 30, 2020 and close on June 1, 2020.
    • More details can be found at: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-fund/business-support-fund-faqs

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – QUEENSLAND

  • Payroll tax relief
    • Immediate payroll tax refund package of $740M for COVID-19 affected businesses.
    • Payroll tax returns for all businesses have been deferred until July 31, 2020.
    • A payroll tax holiday and deferral until the end of 2020 for eligible businesses.
    • All small and medium businesses (payroll up to $6.5M) will be eligible for:
      • A two-month refund of payroll tax, giving an average of nearly $9,000 cash;
      • A three-month payroll tax holiday (no payroll tax to be paid), saving an average of $13,360;
      • In addition, businesses will be able to apply to defer all payroll tax payments for the rest of 2020.
    • Businesses can apply via this link: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/lodging/coronavirus-tax-relief
  • Power costs
    • $500 rebate on electricity bills for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000kW hours. This will be automatically applied to electricity bills.
  • Liquor licensing
    • Waived for business impacted by enforced safety industry shutdowns.
  • Loan Facility
    • A loan facility of at least $500M, interest-free for the first 12 months, is being created to support Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19 to retain employees and maintain operations. The concessional loan facility comprises low-interest loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest-free period for businesses to retain staff.

FOR EMPLOYEES & PARTICIPANTS – QUEENSLAND

  • Utility costs
    • $200 rebate for all 2.1M Queensland households (including the $50 Asset Ownership Dividend already announced) to offset the cost of water and electricity bills – to be automatically applied through household electricity bills.

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Small business grants
    • Small businesses and not-for-profits that have suffered a significant loss of income or been forced to close as a result of necessary coronavirus-related restrictions, will be offered a one-off $10,000 emergency cash grant.
    • The cash grants will be available to help cover a business’ ongoing or outstanding operating costs, such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw materials costs and other fees.
    • Eligibility:
      • have a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum
      • have payroll of less than $1.5M, and not entitled to a payroll tax waiver under COVID19 support measures introduced by the State Government
      • have an ABN and were carrying on the operation of a business in SA on March 1, 2020 and have been subject to closure or highly impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions. Businesses eligible for the Commonwealth JobKeeper payment will be deemed to be highly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
      • use the funds to support activities related to the operation of the business
      • apply by June 1, 2020
    • For more information* and to register your interest businesses are urged to visit: https://www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19
    • Applications for the grant will open shortly and be available until June 1, 2020
    • More details about this announcement can also be found here: https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/$10,000-emergency-cash-grants-for-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19
  • Payroll tax waived
    • Six month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll of up to $4M – eligible businesses won’t have to pay any payroll tax from April to September.
  • Liquor licence fees waived
    • Waiver of liquor licence fees for 2020-21 for hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs forced to close as a result of new social distancing restrictions.
  • Land tax relief
    • Individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for 2019-20 able to defer payments for six months.
  • Community and jobs fund
    • A $250M fund to support community organisations, sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations as well as some industry sectors whose operations have been impacted by the coronavirus

FOR EMPLOYEES, PARTICIPANTS – SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  • Cost of living concession
    • A once-off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020-21 ‘Cost of Living Concession’ for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Unlikely that many may fall into this category but…

  • Power costs
    • Full details are yet to follow but the government has announced that electricity bills for about 95,000 businesses would be reduced, at a cost of nearly $240 million.
    • There will be a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consumed less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum to those suffering economic hardship due to the coronavirus lockdown.
  • Payroll tax waived
    • Businesses with a payroll of between $1M and $4M will receive a one-off grant of $17,500. Eligible businesses will be able to apply to defer their 2019-2020 payroll tax payment until July 21, 2020;
    • The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1M from July 1, 2020, six months earlier than planned.

FOR EMPLOYEES & PARTICIPANTS – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  • Household fees and charges
    • All increases, fees and charges will be frozen until at least July 2021. This includes utilities, public transport fares, motor vehicle charges.
  • Power costs
    • The Energy Assistance Package (EAP) in 2020-21 will be doubled to provide additional support to vulnerable Western Australians. The payment will increase from $300 to $600 for eligible concession card-holders.

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – TASMANIA

  • Payroll tax waived
    • Payroll tax returns for all businesses have been deferred until July 31, 2020.
    • The Government will extend the previously announced Payroll tax waivers for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors with payrolls less than $5M which have been impacted by coronavirus to ensure that these businesses will pay no payroll taxes for the entire 2019-20 year. This measure will be delivered through a combination of payroll tax refunds and waivers
    • Youth employment scheme – provides a payroll tax rebate for one year, to businesses that employ a young person aged 24 and under, between April and December 2020.
  • Interest-free business loans
    • For businesses with a turnover of less than $5M, interest-free for three years.
  • Liquor licensing
    • 50% discount on liquor licencing fees and a waiver of all application fees for the calendar year 2020, backdated to 1 January 2020.
  • Utility costs
    • Water and electricity bills will be waived for the first quarterly bill received after 1 April this year for small business customers on Tariff 22, 94, 82 or 75, including those small businesses on market contracts that could access those tariffs.
    • Electricity prices will be capped, and water prices will be frozen next financial year.
    • The Government will freeze all fees and charges subject to the Government Fee Units Act 1997.
    • Impact form to complete: https://k2.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/Runtime/Runtime/Form/EDC.FRM.EmergencyDataCollectionForm/

FOR EMPLOYEES & PARTICIPANTS – TASMANIA

  • Relief payments for those in isolation
    • One-off payments of $250 for individuals or up to $1,000 for families, for those who are required by Public Health to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus. Eligibility includes those with a Health Care Card or a Pensioners, Concession Card and those on low incomes who can demonstrate a need for financial support, including casual workers.
  • Levy relief
    • Freezing of the Community Fire Levy, which is part of rates collections, from the next financial year.
    • Waive or refund school levies for this year. For those who have already paid their schools levies, the Government will arrange for these to be refunded.
  • Utility costs
    • Capping of electricity prices and freeze water bills for next financial year. This is in addition to hardship funds and arrangements currently in place.
  • Housing
    • Rent for social housing tenants will not increase, and will not count Federal and State Government emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions.

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  • Liquor licensing
    • Licenced venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020. Outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will also be waived.
  • Power costs
    • Small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per annum will see rebates of $750 automatically applied to their next electricity bill in around June or July 2020.
  • Payroll tax
    • Payroll tax waiver – businesses whose operations are directly affected by the ‘prohibited activities list’ will be eligible to receive a six-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020. Businesses will need to complete a simple online application form on the ACT Revenue Office website to confirm their eligibility. For those who lodge their payroll tax return monthly, the first waiver will be applied to the March payroll tax return, which is usually payable by 7 April.
    • For those who lodge their payroll tax return annually, the first waiver will be applied to their account when their return is received at the end of the 2019-20 financial year.
    • Payroll tax deferral – businesses with wages of up to $10M can also defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022. Businesses will need to complete a simple online application form to confirm their eligibility by visiting the ACT Revenue Office website at: revenue.act.gov.au
  • Payroll tax
    • The government will provide further support to community clubs and Casino Canberra, to enable them to keep staff employed as they adjust to the physical distancing measures. Measures include:
      • providing gaming machine licensees with the opportunity to access a payment of $15,000 per authorisation if they voluntarily surrender gaming machine authorisations;
      • a waiver/refund of gaming machine tax liabilities for clubs for March 2020 gaming activity (for clubs that pay tax monthly) or gaming activity in the first quarter of 2020 (for clubs that pay tax quarterly); and
      • providing clubs with a rebate of fixed water and sewerage charges on their Icon Water bills for the next two quarters.
    • The government is continuing to consult with community clubs to investigate further ways to support them to keep as many Canberrans employed as possible as they re-adjust to a changed operating environment.
  • More details about all of the ACT support initiatives can be found at: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/economic-support/economic-survival-package/supporting-local-businesses-and-the-economy

FOR EMPLOYEES & PARTICIPANTS – AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

  • Relief payments for those in isolation
    • One-off payments of $250 for individuals or up to $1,000 for families, for those who are required by Public Health to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus.
  • Residential rates
    • The government will delay the issue of 2019-20 quarter 4 residential general instalments and land tax assessments by four weeks. This will be payable one month after issue.
    • The government will also apply a $150 rebate to the fixed charge component of all residential rates bills in 2020-21 and freeze the Fire and Emergency Services Levy in 2020-21 at the current 2019-20 level.
  • Vehicle and public transport fees
    • The government will automatically freeze all 2020-21 vehicle registration, parking and public transport fee increases at the current 2019-20 levels.
  • Utility costs
    • Households already receiving the Utilities Concession will receive an additional $200 rebate through their electricity bill. This includes: Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card holders; Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card holders; and Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card holders. This will be automatically applied to the next electricity bill in June or July 2020.
    • The government will also contribute up to $250K to a new fund to assist households severely impacted by COVID-19. Details on how the fund will operate will be determined in consultation with electricity retailers, who will asked to make a co-contribution in order to access the fund.

Please note that all of the advice is current as at March 28, 2020 and economic support packages from all levels of governments are expected to be expanded over the coming weeks and months.