COVID-19 - Coronavirus

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ClubsNSW understands the Coronavirus crisis is creating extreme uncertainty for clubs, affecting trade and unsettling individual club members. ClubsNSW will attempt to provide relevant information to clubs to assist in the management of what is a very unpredictable situation.

Rest assured, we are working as closely as we can with Government to obtain the most up-to-date advice. Because the Government’s position is rapidly shifting, we have established this page to provide regular updates and advice as the situation eventuates. For specific questions relating to a club's individual circumstances, please contact the Member Enquiries Centre by email or phone (1300 730 001). 

ClubsNSW is working closely with the NSW and Australian Governments to ensure decisions are made with regard for the interests of clubs.


UPDATE - 1.00pm, 27th March, 2020

Gaming machine tax and payroll tax deferral

The NSW Government has announced that club gaming machine tax and payroll tax has been deferred for the next six months. A copy of the NSW Government’s announcement can be found here.

The payroll tax deferral includes those clubs with payrolls of more than $10m. ClubsNSW welcomes this decision, which ClubsNSW advocated strongly for on behalf of Member Clubs. 

AUSTRAC advice regarding the 2019 AML/CTF Compliance Report

ClubsNSW has received the following advice from AUSTRAC:

"The Compliance Report 2019 is due to be submitted to AUSTRAC by 31 March 2020. Due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that you may be unable to submit your report on time. We will assist you through these circumstances by accepting 2019 compliance reports until 30 June 2020, without risk of compliance action.

We know that some small to medium businesses have been restricted from opening due to COVID-19 social distancing measures announced by the government. For these affected businesses we will not take any compliance action if you are unable to submit your report.

Thank you to those who have already submitted reports. If you have questions about the impacts of COVID-19 on your compliance obligations please contact us by email (contact@austrac.gov.au) or via the online form."


4.00pm, 26th March, 2020

Liquor and Gaming Statement of Regulatory Intent

Liquor and Gaming NSW has issued a Statement of Regulatory Intent in regard to COVID-19 coronavirus. The Statement can be accessed here.

In summary, Liquor and Gaming NSW recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an exceptional set of circumstances and will have significant impacts on businesses, and that this will require flexibility on the part of the regulator.

While legislative requirements remain in force, Liquor & Gaming NSW will have regard to the unprecedented pressures on industry and take a reasonable and proportionate response to compliance.

Compliance and enforcement activity will continue, but with a primary focus on matters that pose significant risk to public safety and community wellbeing, and in particular the sale or supply of alcohol to intoxicated persons or minors.

Clubs that elect to make takeaway sales or home deliveries of alcohol should have a system of controls in place to ensure liquor is not sold to minors or intoxicated persons.

JobSeeker Allowance and Coronavirus Supplement - Update

Further to yesterday’s circular 20:039, Member Clubs are advised that Services Australia have now updated their advice regarding JobSeeker Allowance and Coronavirus Supplement payment applications.

  1. Do employees need a Separation Certificate to receive the JobSeeker Allowance and Coronavirus Supplement payments?
    No. This requirement has been waived. Employees who have not been terminated, only temporarily stood down, or those working reduced hours will now be able to apply without a Separation Certificate.

  2. Do employees need to exhaust their annual leave and long service leave entitlements before being eligible for the JobSeeker Allowance and Coronavirus Supplement payments?
    No. Employees will not need to exhaust their leave entitlements before being able to access the payments. This is because the “liquid asset” test waiting period has been waived from 25 March 2020 to 24 September 2020. Normally, liquid assets are any funds readily available to an employee (and their partner). This includes any money the club owes to its employee, such as annual and long service leave accruals. 

Please note however employees are still unable to use their paid leave concurrently with the JobSeeker allowance. For more information, please visit Services Australia - JobSeeker Allowance.

New safe harbour for trading while insolvent

In the circular distributed on Monday (20-037), ClubsNSW advised that the Government was progressing legislation to give directors relief from personal liability for trading while insolvent. This legislation has now been enacted and gives directors a safe harbour for the 25 March to 24 August 2020 period (inclusive).

AML/CTF 2019 compliance report

Members are reminded that if they have 16 or more gaming machines, they must submit their 2019 Compliance Reports to AUSTRAC by 31 March 2020.

If you have less than 16 gaming machines you may still need to log into your AUSTRAC Online portal and submit that no changes to the number of gaming machines has occurred over the last 12 months.

If you are unable to complete the compliance report by 31 March due to COVID-19, AUSTRAC has recommended you advise them of not being able to meet the deadline.

For more information, or to advise you are not able to submit the report in time, contact AUSTRAC on 1300 021 037, and select option ‘1’ for 2019 Compliance reports.


1.30pm, 25th March, 2020

As a result of the industry wide shutdown of registered clubs due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, many clubs are concerned about the impact on their staff and the loss of income they will experience for the foreseeable future. There have been several enquiries from clubs about the Federal Government’s:

  • JobSeeker Allowance, and
  • Coronavirus Supplement Payment (which will double the JobSeeker Allowance from $550 per fortnight to $1100 per fortnight)

Together, these are defined as the Government Payments

How much are the Government Payments?

Employees who are stood down or lose their employment as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic will be able to apply for both the Jobseeker Allowance and the Coronavirus Supplement Payment, equalling a total payment of $1100 per fortnight.

Who is eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement?

Waiting periods and asset testing for both the JobSeeker Allowance and the Coronavirus Supplement Payment have been waived, however, income testing will still apply.

If an employee who is stood down or is terminated earns less than $1075 per fortnight, they will be entitled to the full Coronavirus Supplement (although their partner’s income may be taken into account in assessing this).

When will the Government Payments be available?

Applications for the JobSeeker Allowance are open now. The Coronavirus Supplement Payment will commence on 27 April 2020 and will be payable from this date. It will not be paid retrospectively. All waiting periods have been waived from 27 April 2020. 

How do individuals apply?

The benefits can be accessed via telephone and via the myGov website. Current advice is that applicants should avoid attending Centrelink offices in person due to social distancing measures.

Applicants will need to make a declaration about their identity, residency status, income and that they have been made redundant or had their hours reduced (including to zero) as a result of the economic downturn due to Coronavirus – this includes a stand down situation.

The myGov process is relatively simple, with applicants being required to sign up or login to their myGov account and register their intent to claim by clicking the 'Register intention to claim' button at the top of the page. Applicants do not need to have a “CRN” prior to registering their intention to claim.

Required Documentation

There are a number of documents required for the application. This will be the longest (and most frustrating) part of the process. In order to apply for the Government Payments, applicants may be required to upload the following documentation evidencing: 

  • tax file number
  • bank account details
  • savings, term deposits, mortgage offsets or overseas account details
  • investments
  • insurance agreements
  • income and assets, including real estate assets
  • superannuation
  • income tax returns
  • employer separation certificates (with the reason for termination marked as 'other')
  • a letter confirming stand down due to forced closure
  • payslips/PAYG certificates
  • parent or guardian details, including work and income details
  • partner details, including citizenship, study, work, income details and separation details (if relevant)

What if employees are on paid annual or long service leave?

Our current information is that applicants cannot access the Government Payments if they are accessing their leave entitlements or are on income protection (via their income protection insurance policy).

Do employees have to use all their leave entitlements before accessing the Government Payments?

Current advice is that applicants will need to use their existing accrued annual leave and long service leave entitlements before being able to access the Government Payments. 

Amendments to NSW Long Service Leave Act

Two changes that were passed by the NSW Parliament late yesterday mean that:

  • employers no longer need to give a month's notice to employees to take long service leave once they have accrued leave (10 years’ service) if the employee agrees
  • if an employer and employee agree to give and take leave in advance, the period of leave no longer needs to be of at least one month but can be of a period shorter than a month.

Clarification: Accrual of leave during a stand down

Clubs are advised that during a period of stand down, annual leave continues to accrue for full-time and part time employees. Long service leave does not.


8.30am, 24th March, 2020

Assurance for golf and bowls

ClubsNSW has received assurance from Government and law enforcement officials that members of the public can play golf and bowls on courses and greens operated by registered clubs. Therefore, golf and bowls clubs may continue to permit or facilitate games on their courses and greens.

As foreshadowed in a circular distributed yesterday, ClubsNSW is seeking further clarification from the Government on this matter. This includes whether golf and bowls players may purchase food and beverages inside the clubhouse or pro shop, to consume on the course or green. ClubsNSW will circulate this additional information in due course.

Golf and bowls clubs cannot allow people to assemble or meet in the clubhouse or pro shop.
 


In order to provide clubs with clear and up-to-date information, we've catalogued past advice by date below. 

 

16th March 17th March 18th March 19th March 20th March 22nd March 23rd March

Managing patrons, managing staff, stimulus packages , media assistance and cancellation of commercial contracts.

 

Government advice for employers, complying with regulatory requirements, and cancellation of ClubsNSW events. 100-person limits, enclosed area definition, social distancing advice, scaling down, and enhancing cleanliness Workforce planning advice, business recovery advice, enforcement about unlawful gatherings and ClubGRANTS. ATO and loan deferrals, status of staff in the kitchen and further restrictions on gatherings.  Forced closure, workforce arrangements under forced shutdown and advice on available government assistance. Communication with staff around forced closure, workforce options during stand down, status of ClubGRANTS, ASIC no-action on AGMs, takeaway advice, and relief for trading insolvent.

For more information or any questions, please contact the ClubsNSW Members Enquiries Centre

Contact Member Enquiries Centre


Quick links to other resources

Circular Index Business Continuity & Recovery Advice Workforce Planning FAQs Supplier Relief & Support