Latest support information for clubs

by Aaron Delaporte

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 3: April 2, 2020)

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.
    • Legislation is yet to be enacted, which means that some details of the JobKeeper Payment scheme are not yet finalised.
    • 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.
    • Clubs 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/gen/JobKeeper-payment/
    • The business will receive the first payment in the first week of May, with payments backdated until March 1.
    • Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
    • 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 circumstances. 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.pdf
    • Employer specific factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employers_1.pdf
    • Employee specific factsheet: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employees_1.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. Sole traders set up under trust or partnership schemes will not be able to register for the scheme.
  • Boosting cash flow for Clubs/Associations who employ staff
    • Eligibility:
      • businesses who employ staff and withhold tax on wages;
      • businesses with a turnover of less than $50M – includes Not-For-Profits;
      • active employers prior to March 12.
    • Businesses can receive two payments of a minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $50,000 from April 28.
    • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Cash_flow_assistance_for_businesses_1.pdf
    • Included in the above fact sheet are details about how apprentices (such as apprentice greenkeepers) can get a 50% wage subsidy for nine months, up to $21,000 in total.
  • 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.
    • 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:
      • WA – Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety – Associations can apply for an extension of time if it cannot hold its AGM within six months after the end of its financial year, but only if the request is made before that period expires. An application for an extension of time to hold the AGM can be lodged using the following link: https://associations.commerce.wa.gov.au/associations/public/publicHomePage.jspx

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.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 payment to commence on April 27, 2020 and continue for six months.
    • More details can be found at: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Income_Support_for_Individuals_0.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://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Withdrawing-and-using-your- super/Early-access-to-your-super/#Compassionategrounds
  • 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.

FOR CLUBS & ASSOCIATIONS – WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Unlikely that many may fall into this category but…

  • 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.

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.