Small Business Owners – avoid the Coronavirus Conundrum
There’s so much information being broadcast daily, about how coronavirus is affecting small business and what money the government is throwing at us.
It can be confusing to know what is accurate, what assistance is available and how to access it. And that’s without scammers entering into it!
So, stay on top of the relevant government websites and up-to-date information and you can’t go wrong.
Whether you’re a small business owner, an employee, or on government assistance, all available funds that could be paid to you will be found at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.
I am not going to waffle on about what’s already been said. You can simply bookmark this website and check out what applies to you and your situation.
Unsure of leave entitlements and stand downs?
Whether you’re the employer or employee, FairWork is your governing body https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au.
They will help with workplace questions, guidance and direction if you need.
Do staff get paid leave?
Each workplace is different as they are directed by their own Modern Award or other Workplace Agreements. But according to FairWork, unless your industrial agreement says otherwise, the general rule of thumb is:
If the employee is sick or caring for someone who is sick – usual personal leave entitlements kick in. If permanent staff, they are entitled to 10 days paid personal leave per year and 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion. If casual staff, they are entitled to 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion.
If the employee is looking after school children because school is closed – if they cannot work at home then they are required to use their leave entitlements. For permanent staff, this could include paid carer leave; two days unpaid carer leave; annual leave or long-service leave. For casual staff, two days unpaid carer’s leave is available.
If the employee simply decides to self-isolate with no gov’t directive – they would need to dip into their annual or long-service leave if they want paid time off.
If the boss has told staff to stay at home – if not a direction from the government and employees cannot work from home, then employers should be paying their permanent staff their normal wage.
If the government has ordered the business to close – and staff cannot work from home, then the boss is not required to pay the staff for the time off. Hopefully in this case, the employer will allow use of paid leave entitlements owed.
Should employees be told to quarantine or self-isolate – FairWork has no rules for this and suggest the employee and employer come up with an agreement, such as using paid leave.
Can an employer stand down its employees without paying them?
Businesses may force to stand down their staff due to:
– a government order to close
– a large part of the workforce is in quarantine so can’t do the job
– lack of demand for the business product or service (for which employer can’t be held responsible)
Employees that are stood down remain employed during the period of the stand down.
You cannot stand down your employees while they are on leave though, whether paid or unpaid.
Again, the workplace Award or Enterprise Agreement would stipulate how much notice to provide, consultation with staff, when to stand down, etc.
For all your staff rights and entitlements, bookmark this page and check out what is available. https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au.
State Grants Available
Email me if you have any questions or need some guidance.
I will help you navigate the red-tape at no cost.