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.
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
- insurance agreements
- income and assets, including real estate assets
- 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.
For more information or any questions, please contact the ClubsNSW Members Enquiries Centre.