Weekly Digest – 24 June 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

Second Round of Cash Flow Boosts

If you received initial cash flow boosts, you’ll automatically receive additional cash flow boosts when you lodge your activity statements for each monthly or quarterly period from June to September 2020. The amount will be equal to the total amount of initial cash flow boosts you received and will be split in either two or four installments, depending on your reporting period.

If you lodge:

  • quarterly – you will receive 50% of your total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement
  • monthly – you will receive 25% of your total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement

You can find more information here, or alternatively, you may contact us so we can discuss your concerns.

Minimum Wage Increase

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all award wages and the increase will start on 3 different dates for different groups.

Group 1 Awards – from 1 July 2020

  • Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance Workers
  • Teachers and Child Care
  • Other Essential Services

Group 2 Awards – from 1 November 2020

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • A range of other industries

Group 3 Awards – from 1 February 2021

  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Arts and Recreation Services
  • Aviation
  • Retail
  • Tourism

You can find the complete list of awards in each group here.

For those not covered by an award, the new national minimum wage will be $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour. This applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2020. If you’re not sure which award applies or if you have any questions, get in touch with us.

Is now a good time to hire new staff?

Unfortunately, many companies have had to lay off staff and downsize because of COVID-19. That means there is actually a window of opportunity for businesses looking to hire. There is a wealth of exceptional talent out there now that might normally be snapped up. It might not be this way for long so it could be the perfect time to hire. You need to do what’s best for you and your business and we’re happy to chat to help you make the best choice.

Here are some ways to make the most of a growing talent pool according to an article by the Harvard Business Review:

  • Ask your top leaders to list three to five great players they would have liked to have hired over the past five years and then check in with those people.
  • Set up a task force to source potential candidates from target sectors and companies who may now be either jobless or open to change.
  • Interview and check references remotely with the same rigour you would in person.
  • Go out of your way to motivate the best candidates.
  • Don’t ignore the sourcing, retaining, and development of in-house talent.

Instant Asset Write-Off Expansion

The Instant Asset Write-off has been extended for six months to 31 December 2020, which means Australian businesses with less than $500 million annual turnover will have more time to take advantage of the write-off and invest in assets to support their business. This government initiative is designed to help the economy reopen and boost economic growth. The instant asset write-off applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets provided they each cost less than $150,000.

You can find more information on which assets can you claim as an immediate deduction here, but feel free to contact us so we can walk you through the different thresholds, exclusions, and limits.

Company Tax Rate Reduction

Starting 1 July 2020, the company tax rate will be reduced to 26% for small- and medium-sized businesses, as part of a larger progressive plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25% from 1 July 2021. This applies to all base rate entities (BRE) – companies, corporate unit trusts, and public trading trusts – which have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million where 80% or less of the entity’s turnover for the year is classified as base rate entity passive income. More details can be found here.

If you need a registered agent to assist you, drop us a message.

COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund

The Australian Government has set aside $1 billion to support regions and communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus. Support is extended to these industries:

  • tourism
  • aviation and transport
  • agriculture and fisheries
  • education
  • the arts

You can find more details here but feel free to chat to us and we can find the right support for you.

Free Financial Counselling for regional businesses

The Government has committed $4.7 million to provide small regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free financial counselling. You can learn more about the assistance for affected regions, communities and industries here. If you need more personalised and focused financial advice, you can also get in touch with us so we can guide you through the current economic downturn.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

SafeWork Australia has put together useful guidelines for a range of industries. The guidelines provide clarification on WHS laws, workers’ rights, risk assessments, hygiene, emergency plans and more.

What’s next?

We’ll keep you updated if anything changes but now we’ll shift to helping you get a plan in place for the future. Please get in touch to discuss what’s next for your business.