Small business calls for unfair dismissal moratorium

Financial Review, Apr 2, 2020 A key small business group has called for unfair dismissal claims to be paused during the coronavirus crisis and temporary changes to workplace rules to become permanent, arguing union concessions expose the system’s inflexibility. Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) chief executive Peter Strong praised Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus for …

Coronavirus: Retail bosses demand pay freeze for low-paid workers

The Australian, April 2, 2020 National retailers have called for a 12-month pay freeze to be imposed on low-paid workers and the ­annual minimum wage review ­decision to be delayed by at least six months. The National Retail Association, which calls itself the “union for employers”, told the Fair Work Commission the “unprecedented economic crisis caused by the corona­virus pandemic …

Explained: Is your startup eligible for the COVID-19 wage subsidies?

SmartCompany, April 1, 2020 StartupAus chief executive Alex McCauley. The government has clarified some of the eligibility criteria for its $130 billion wage subsidy scheme, suggesting startups will indeed be able to claim the support. On Monday, the federal government outlined its $130 billion JobKeeper scheme, aimed at alleviating salary costs for businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and keeping …

Employer seeks to scrap pay rises during crisis

Financial Review, Apr 2, 2020 A Queensland construction company is seeking to scrap pay rises for dozens of employees due to the coronavirus crisis in a case that could clear the way for other businesses to follow suit. Construction and maintenance contractor CV Services filed an urgent application to the Fair Work Commission to forgo a 3 per cent wage …

Coronavirus: FWC proposes unpaid and flexible leave ‘to protect jobs’

Fair Work Commission President Iain Ross. Picture: Gary RamageThe Australian, April 1, 2020 The Fair Work Commission has proposed two weeks’ unpaid pandemic leave and extra annual leave flexibility for millions of award-­reliant workers in a move designed to keep more employees in jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. A commission full bench headed by president Iain Ross on Wednesday proposed …

Small businesses pin hopes on wage subsidies

Financial Review, Mar 31, 2020 Tony Dench is one of some 277,000 business owners in Australia hoping the Coalition’s new wage subsidy package will help him keep his workers employed.Business “dropped off a cliff” over the past fortnight at the family-run Dench Bakery, as the virus crisis hit both its cafe and wholesale bakehouse in Melbourne’s inner north, forcing Mr …

The SME loan guarantee won’t save everyone

Financial Review, Mar 30, 2020 The big banks want to make something perfectly clear. The Coronavirus SME Guarantee is not a grant or a handout. It is a loan – not a grant – and they expect to be repaid. Treasurer Frydenberg said the plan would allow banks to lend money to customers they may not have been able to …

Government announces a $66 billion second coronavirus stimulus: What’s available to small businesses, and how do I claim it?

SmartCompany, March 23, 2020 Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference to announce the government’s coronavirus stimulus package at Parliament House in Canberra, on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Source: AAP/Mick Tsikas. Just 10 days after announcing its coronavirus stimulus package, the Morrison government has released a second, beefed-up and more robust version. The new $66.1 billion economic plan bolsters …

Coronavirus: Banks urged to widen business loan deferrals

Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia chief executive Peter StrongThe Australian, March 23, 2020 The hospitality sector has urged major banks to help save jobs by letting more businesses defer loan repayments during the corona­virus pandemic. Australian Hotels Association chief executive Stephen Ferguson said further action by the banks to assist businesses was vital if employers were to be …