Please see below for the latest updates from the HRIA with regards to coronavirus COVID-19 relating to the equipment and event hire industry.

Federal Government

The link below is regularly updated to give you the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.

CLICK HERE

Australian Government Treasury Economic Response to COVID-19 can be found below

CLICK HERE

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created an online planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead.

CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Safety Plans by Industry

The NSW Government have put together COVID-19 Saftey Plans by Industry. These include COVID Safety Checklist approved by the Chief Health Officer. Industries include Construction and Tradespeople, Conference and Function venues, Manufacturing and warehousing, office environments, Retail, Transport and Logistics, Wedding ceremonies and receptions and Other Industries

CLICK HERE

Coronavirus Australia App

Stay informed. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

JobKeeper Payment

Treasury have released information on the JobKeeper Payment announced on March 30th. More information including information sheets can be found on The Treasury website.

CLICK HERE

Federal Government’s Business Hotline13 28 46, has been expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now operating from 7:00am to 11:00pm AEST

Prime Minister Statements

All Media Releases and Press Conference Transcripts can be found on the Prime Minister of Australia’s website

CLICK HERE

Australian Coronavirus Statistics

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website

CLICK HERE

Safe Work Australia

The Safe Work Australia website has been updated to provide a central hub of work health and safety (WHS) guidance and tools to help Australian workplaces manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. 

The website gives users easy access to guidance that is directly relevant to their specific industry. It includes guidance about physical distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, workers’ compensation, how to conduct risk assessments and design emergency plans, as well as providing case studies to help explain how to manage the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

There are 23 industries to choose from as well as general industry information if your industry is not listed.

You can also use the search bar to find specific COVID-19 WHS content or browse through the information for your industry.

New information and guidance continue to be developed and the website will be updated with new information as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Safe Work Australia has also provide quick links to the WHS authority in each state.

WHS authorities’ contact information

State Government Information and Advice

Each State and Territory Government  have provided information and advice on COVID-19.

NSW

VIC

QLD

ACT

SA

WA

TAS

NT

State Government Stimulus

State Governments across Australia have announced economic support packages for individuals and business. Please see below

NSW

VIC

QLD

ACT

SA

WA

TAS

NT

Australian Tax Office (ATO)

The ATO has consolidated all the information they have announced to the COVID-19 page on their website

CLICK HERE

Fair Work Australia

Fair Work Australia have created a page outlining Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

CLICK HERE

Australian Banking Association

What you need to know about COVID-19 small business relief?

CLICK HERE

Banks Announce Small Business Relief Package

CLICK HERE

Legal Advice

Our legal partner MST Lawyers have put together a COVID-19 employment guide which is available to HRIA Members on the HRNET page of the HRIA website.

In addition as things are changing rapidly MST Lawyers are regular posting articles on their news page regaining COVID-19 covering topics such as Emergency Leasing Laws and how the pandemic may impact contacting and business. We recommend you visit the news page on MST Lawyers website regularly for the most up-to-date information.

Business Advisory and Accounting Advice

HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided a number of tools which they have made available to HRIA, EWPA and TSHA members.

COVID-19 Advisory

This page contains a collection of timely and relevant content related to COVID-19 and how it may impact businesses, individuals and organisations. It addresses the following topics:

  • Federal & State Tax Updates
  • Insights for Businesses & Individuals
  • Industry Insights
  • Global Insights

CLICK HERE

We would suggest members visit this page regularly for the most up to date information.

HLB Mann Judd have put together a simple factsheet to help you understand the key stimulus measures and what actions businesses should consider and implement now.

Read the factsheet

They have also gathered a panel of experts to talk through the impact and actions of the federal and state government stimulus packages and what you need to be doing.

View the video

CFMEU Resources

The CFMEU has produced a number of resources to assist in maintaining the health and safety of construction workers and all those attending a construction site.

COVID-19 On-site Guidelines

COVID-19: Building Industry Guidelines – Victoria

Although created specifically for Victoria, these resources do provide a guideline for the entire country.

Mental Health Advice Support

Beyond Blue

Black Dog Institute

MATES In Construction

Lifeline

World Health Organisation

CLICK HERE

Adults coping-with-stress poster

Children coping-with-stress-print poster

The Victorian Government has released their Public Events Framework and information to help organisers of public events in Victoria to meet their safety obligations and responsibilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This phased resumption of public events includes the gradual easing of restrictions on a 14 day basis subject to public health advice.
Details can be found HERE
The National Office has also arranged a meeting with the COVID Strategy and Industry Recovery Major Events Team which is a division of the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions in the VIC Government, which is scheduled for next week to discuss this framework further.

The NSW Government has developed a guidance to help create a safe environment for large events in NSW.

View the COVID-19 Safety Guidance for large events in NSW

The National Office is aware of the announcement by Premier Steven Marshall of new restrictions for South Australia which come into effect at midnight tonight (18th November).
Although details have been reported in news publications there is yet to be an official update on the SA Government website. We will continue to monitor this and advise members as soon as we have more information.
Please see below for links to the SA Government Covid-19 site as well as the ABC new article on the announcement
New restrictions were announced for public activities and gatherings on Monday 17th November. These details as well as the link to the Emergency Management Direction can be found on the South Australian Government website .

While restrictions put in place through 2020 have operated to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the Australian community and industry have been heavily impacted by these limitations.

The below framework provides consideration and guidance for a reopening of Australia whilst managing the health impacts and severity of COVID-19.

It is acknowledged that states and territories have the decision making authority in relation to public health measures. The national strategy is suppression with a goal of no community transmission.

View the Framework for National Reopening

YOu can also view the COVID-19 Restrictions by State HERE

The Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) National Office continues to monitor the evolving situation in relation to the impact of COVID-19. In particular we have been following up for Events hire members to obtain clarification around the definition of ‘Outdoor Spaces’.

We are now able to advise VIC members of further clarification on the definition of ‘Outdoor Spaces’ in relation to the Hospitality Industry –

  • Outdoor space: ‘Outdoors’ means a space with no roof; or an open-air space designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof) so long as such cover has at least two open sides for airflow. 
  • Roof: any structure or device (whether fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes upward airflow, including a ceiling.
  • Wall: any structure or device (fixed or movable) that prevents or significantly impedes lateral airflow, including a closed window or door.

An outdoor space may include any of the following spaces:

  • A balcony or veranda
  • A courtyard
  • A rooftop
  • A marquee 
  • A street or footpath
  • Any similar outdoor areas

For the definition of what is an indoor vs outdoor space for hospitality venues, this can be found in the “Industry Restart Guidelines Document – Hospitality” which can be found on the Accommodation and food services sector guidance​ page on the Victorian Government website. This document is located under Industry Restart Guidelines.

Under the current Third Step – all equipment hire is permitted. However you should check the Government website for specific details relating to the Industry you are hiring too as well as other current restrictions (ie 10 people in a public place, 10 people in attendance at a wedding, 20 people attending a funeral).

The Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) National Office continues to monitor the evolving situation in relation to the impact of COVID-19. In particular we have been following up for Events hire members to obtain clarification around the classification of marquees.

We are now able to advise NSW members of further clarification on the classification of marquees

  • A marquee (that does not have more than 2 sides closed off) is considered an outdoor venue. Any time that a marquee has 3 or 4 external walls it is considered an indoor event.
  • Any internal portioning or walls can change the definition of indoor vs outdoor. This creates additional and affects the flow of ventilation and will no longer be considered outdoor for the purposes of this policy.

To allow stakeholders to operate under a 2 metre square rule the ‘venue’ must have electronic entry recording as well as a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. Otherwise they must adhere to a 4 square meter rule.

The NSW Government Office of the Small Business Commissioner has provided details on the steps they suggest when planning for an event. These includes links to the relevant Health Orders, outlining what is an is not permitted.

NSW Government suggested steps when planning for an event

  1. Definition of event – ‘indoor vs outdoor’ as this determines which social distancing rule applies.
    2. Business type – ‘hospitality venues’
    3. Event type – to give the maximum limit of guests

Definition

For the definition of what is an indoor vs outdoor events for hospitality venues (events) this can be found in the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 5) 2020 which commenced on 23 October 2020. The exact location is on page 9 under the Directions of Minister about hospitality venues (the exact location is part 2, division 1, section 9, clause 7). Any updated health orders replacing the above link will be made available on the COVID-related legislation NSW Government website.

The definition has been copied below

indoor area includes an area in a building or other structure, whether or not temporary, which has a roof, ceiling or other top covering, but does not include an area with at least 2 sides open to the weather.

outdoor area means an area that is not an indoor area.

Business Type

The next reference to help is located on NSW Government COVID-19 advice website at the Can and can’t do under the rules page. Hospitality venues have a section that can help provide the information and confidence you need in planning their events. This gives information on the two square metre rule that hospitality venues can use if:

  • an outdoor event (a marquee with 2 open sides and no internal partitions)
  • have electronic entry recording (QR Code)
  • register a COVID-Safe Plan.

Event Type

There are limits imposed for types of events. To help track the numbers for each event here are links to types of events allowed.

Our business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided the following update on new insolvency reforms for small business.

READ MORE

Metropolitan Melbourne Restrictions easing from 11:59pm 27 October 2020

  • Metropolitan Melbourne moves to Third Step restrictions from 11:59pm on 27 October. This means:
  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.  If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can still only travel 25kms.
  • If you can’t work from home, you can go to work, and you do not need to carry a permit. However, you still need a permit to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria for work or study. If you can work from home, you must continue to work from home.
  • You can see friends and family outdoors in a public place in a group of up to 10 people.
  • Additional changes related to visiting people in their homes will be announced shortly.
  • Shops can open. While shopping you need to respect the limit of allowed patrons in a shop. This limit on patrons is in place to ensure everyone in the shop can keep 1.5 metres distance.
  • Personal care and body art services can open. They can only offer services where the customer can wear a face mask during the entire service. Home-based businesses may also open, as long as they meet the required COVIDSafe rules.
  • Cafes and restaurants will open, with limits of people – 20 indoors (10 per indoor space) and 50 outdoors. Business owners can find more information on current restrictions and how to keep their staff and customers safe.
  • Non-contact sport outdoors can resume for adults. Non-contact means you must be able to keep 1.5 metres between everyone. Sport is limited to the minimum number of people to needed to play. For example, cricket may be played with two teams of eleven players and the necessary coaching personnel and umpires.
  • For people aged 18 and under contact and non-contact sport outdoors can resume. Sport is limited to the minimum number of people needed to play.
  • You can exercise outdoors in a group of up to 10 people. A trainer is allowed in addition to this limit.
  • You can have an outdoor wedding with up to 10 people. This limit includes the couple and two witnesses. It doesn’t include the celebrant or photographer. If a wedding is held at a private residence, private gathering restrictions apply.
  • Funerals are allowed with up to 20 people. This limit doesn’t include babies under 12 months of age, or the people required to conduct the funeral. If a funeral is held at a private residence, private gathering restrictions apply.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings near a place of worship for up to 20 people plus a faith leader are allowed. Indoor religious ceremonies are allowed with up to 10 people plus a faith leader.  While attending a religious gathering or ceremony there are steps you need to take to keep yourself and others safe including not sharing food, drink or items.
  • Some outdoor entertainment venues can open.
  • Accommodation remains closed for the purposes of holidaying.
  • Retail, hospitality and certain entertainment venues will be able to have staff onsite to prepare for reopening from 26 October. This should be limited to the number of staff required. Permits will not be required for these workers.
  • Restrictions on travelling into regional Victoria remain. Businesses including hospitality, personal services and tourism venues in regional areas must continue to check IDs. Gyms are also now required to check place of residence before providing services.
  • Face masks are still required when leaving home.
  • Workforce capacity limits on manufacturing, construction, medical, pharmaceutical and PPE supply sectors are removed. Site visit limits on specialist contractors are also removed.
  • Tours in outdoor spaces may resume with groups of up to 10 people, plus the minimum number of people required to conduct the tour. Tours in indoor spaces are not permitted.
  • Tour transport is permitted in open air vehicles, for groups of up to 10 people, plus the minimum number of people required to conduct the tour.

More details can be found HERE

Please see below for the Premier’s Statement

Zero.

The last time Victoria had zero cases was 9 June, 139 days ago. Even more incredibly, it’s zero cases off the back of a huge testing drive. Over the course of this weekend, we asked Victorians living in our northern suburbs to get tested. They did just that.

In 24 hours, we have been able to process an additional 14,024 tests — 3196 of them from these communities. This morning we’ve processed an extra 1157.

And not a single new case has been found.

I want to thank everyone who did the right thing by their community and our state in getting tested. I also want to thank the nurses, lab technicians, collectors, couriers — everyone who has been working around the clock to process these tests.

Because of that effort, we’ve been able to get the results faster than we thought. These results give us confidence — confidence that even if we do identify positive cases in any further tests — we are firmly on top of this virus.

It’s why today I can confirm what we’ve long waited for: Melbourne will move out of lockdown and into the Third Step. Before we get to the bit that almost everyone will be waiting for, an ask:

As we take these steady steps towards reopening, the message remains the same: please, stay safe. And if you have symptoms, you must get tested.

Under the Third Step, and from 11:59pm on Tuesday, Melbourne will move from “stay home” to “stay safe”, with no more restrictions on the reasons to leave home.

The 25-kilometre limit though, will remain in place. I know it’s frustrating, but this is about making sure that even as we ease restrictions, we’re limiting the virus’s ability to travel.

It’s why the border between regional Victoria and Melbourne will also remain in place — for just a bit longer.

Under the Third Step, Melbourne’s cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen. Outdoors with a limit of up to 50, indoors up to 20. Density limits, record keeping and COVIDSafe Plans also apply.

Remaining retail will also open. Beauty and personal care services can resume. And for those businesses who need to get ready for their reopening — staff will be able to attend onsite straight away.

Outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and under will also begin again — so too can non-contact sport for adults. PT, fitness and dance classes can also be held outdoors with up to ten people, and the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50, subject to density limits.

Libraries and community venues will be able to open for outdoor events. Outdoor entertainment venues can also begin hosting visitors.

And faith communities will be able to meet for outdoor religious ceremonies with up to 20 people, in addition to those required for the service. Indoor services can be held with up to 10.

Weddings will increase to ten people, and funerals up to 20.

Workplaces will no longer need to be on the permitted work list to open and the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home you must work from home”.

While the boundary is in place, work permits will still be required for workers from Melbourne travelling into regional Victoria — and vice versa.

I know the thing many people are missing is having people over to visit — but as we’ve seen, this virus is at its most dangerous when we’re indoors and relaxed and comfortable.

It’s why we’re going to take the next 24 hours to understand how we might be able to make this work — safely —and I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow.

From 8 November, and if we can continue driving case numbers down, the 25km limit will come off and Melbourne will be able to meet regional Victoria at the same level.

That means the same eased restrictions that apply to regional Victoria will also apply to Melbourne. The capacity of pubs and restaurants will increase, with up to 40 inside and 70 outside.

Religious gatherings will expand with up 20 people and a faith leader indoors, and 50 outside.

Gyms and indoor fitness will be able to reopen — with some strict safety precautions in place. And because Melburnians will have well and truly earnt a holiday, accommodation will also reopen.

The border between the city and the rest of our state will also fall away. I know personally — deeply — just how much this will mean for thousands of Victorians who haven’t been able to see loved ones for far too long. It will mean families are whole again. Our state is whole again.

I understand there’ll be questions, “what about X?” or “when can I do Y?”. And I promise, we’ll also have an update on 8 November on the timelines and thresholds for taking the Last Step.

We want to reach COVID Normal by Christmas and right now, we’re on track to do that. It’s why we’ve got to keep going — all of us.

Understanding that even though restrictions may ease, our personal responsibility in all this doesn’t. We have come so far and given so much.

Getting here — and staying here — relies on the efforts of every Victorian. Keep going.

–The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier

From this Friday, 16 October 2020 restrictions at hospitality venues will be eased to allow one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas (previously this was one person per four square metres).

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the relaxed restrictions must use electronic methods, like QR codes, to record and keep contact details.

Under changes effective immediately, 500 people will be able to attend outdoor seated music performances and rehearsals, subject to the four square metre rule and people being seated (previously 20 people were permitted).

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the community and businesses are doing a great job of working together to keep COVID-19 at bay, which meant the rules could now be relaxed.

“In NSW, we are focused on keeping the virus under control but also ensuring our economy keeps going and these changes will allow hospitality venues to increase their capacity in a COVID-Safe way,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Complete details can be found on the NSW Government website

As a part of the Budget 20/21, the JobMaker Hiring Credit was announced. The JobMaker Hiring Credit will help to accelerate growth in the employment of young people during the COVID-19 recovery. This will improve their economic, health and social outcomes and reduce the scarring from long term unemployment.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be available to employers for each new job they create over the next 12 months for which they hire an eligible young person, aged 16 to 35 years old.

It is expected that around 450,000 positions for young Australians will be supported through the JobMaker Hiring Credit at a cost of $4 billion from 2020-21 to 2022-23.

Complete details can be viewed in the JobMaker Hiring Credit factsheet

Download the industry restriction levels as provided by the Victorian State Government

Industry Restriction Levels – Construction – early stage land development – Download here

Industry Restriction Levels – Construction – small-scale construction – Download here

Industry Restriction Levels – Construction – large-scale construction – Download here

Our Business Advisory and Accounting partners HLB Mann Judd have provided this update to members

JOBKEEPER EXTENSION:  Guidance on using alternative test for eligibility

With the initial Job Keeper subsidy coming to an end today – 28 September 2020, businesses will be required to reassess their eligibility for the JobKeeper Extension past this date.

To do this, your business needs to apply the “Basic Turnover Test” which requires you to compare the turnover for the September 2020 quarter against the turnover for the September 2019 quarter. Your business will be eligible if the turnover for the September 2020 quarter has decreased by 30% or more.

The ATO have also updated their guidance in relation to applying the “Alternative Turnover Test” measures. These tests will apply to those businesses where, for various reasons, the “Basic Turnover Test” may not be appropriate or even possible to apply (e.g. your business commenced after 30 September 2019).

 Below is a summary and links to the “Alternative” turnover test measures: 

Please note, your business only has to satisfy one of the alternative tests to be eligible.

IMPORTANT – if your business is not eligible for the JobKeeper Extension, please ensure that any payroll payments to staff are adjusted appropriately (i.e. top-up payments are no longer required to be paid to staff if your business is no longer receiving JobKeeper payments from the Government moving forward).

For more information on any of these tests please refer to this ATO link.

If you are unable to assess your own eligibility or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
For further updates and other resources, visit HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre.

We will continue to keep you updated with further information as it becomes available.

Our Business Advisory and Accounting partners HLB Mann Judd have provided this update to members

Recently, the Government extended the temporary insolvent trading, winding up and bankruptcy protections for a further 3 months to 31 December 2020.

The full press release is here: Treasury Statement 14 September 2020.

This extension delays the potential winding up of businesses by unpaid creditors and failure of several businesses probably until February/March 2021. As distressed businesses continue to operate for the next five months, further debt may be incurred that cannot be paid with the Directors not being personally liable for those debts whether they have acted with best or nefarious intentions.

Without personal liability exposure for insolvent trading to ensure the conduct of Directors within obligations, how can suppliers be confident of getting paid?

Full industry comments and consideration of the reasons for Government approach is available here, but it appears that the extension aims to delay a potential large unemployment event in late 2020 until 2021 by reducing pressure on Directors from insolvent trading concerns – hoping that the economy is in more stable and potentially showing signs of recovery at that time.

The extension is not a solution but a postponement.

What does this mean?

Trading wise -balance protection and profit
Businesses need to attempt to avoid damage from distressed businesses using the goods or services supplied (but not paid for) to:

  • punt on a recovery that may not be possible; and/or
  • to generate and liberate cash for themselves (or repay personally guaranteed/secured debts) before folding the business leaving suppliers with the shortfall.

Business confidence and economic growth – more uncertainty before confidence returns across the board
Until the unfortunate process of unviable, unsustainable businesses being sold/closed or another solution reached, it is unlikely that the real confidence and recovery of the economy will occur, meaning further debt will be incurred by governments and businesses that will take years to recover or repay.

What actions should business owners consider?

Business protection actions will be relevant for each business, supply arrangements/relationships, industry, contracts etc; however, it should include:

  1. Review of customer base to identify any clients that may be distressed, engage with customers on supply terms, consider tightening and upgrade of supply terms to reduce exposure including PPSR registrations, debtor insurance and credit card/pre-payment arrangements for large or new customer orders/contracts/services;
  2. Secure any related party funding being provided via a secured facility using legal documentation or a product like KRODOK; and
  3. Consideration of proactive review of issues facing the business and options available to make the business easier to operate, manage and make decisions; manage cash & get the right facilities to reduce interest & costs and manage strategy for value creation.

Overall, focus on the basic business cycle during the period of uncertainty.

Delivery of value to customers and make sure you get paid for it.

More detail around supply protection and proactive actions is available here.

Mapping Victoria’s path toward COVID Normal. For details on the summary of steps towards COVID Normal – Click Here

How we work – Metro Melbourne – View Here

How we work – Regional Victoria – View Here

Melbourne Metropolitan Roadmap – View Here

Regional Victoria Roadmap – View Here

Rental Hiring and real estate services as a permitted workplace

Rental and hiring services are a permitted industry where they are supporting a permitted service or industry (i.e. construction, healthcare etc)

For more information on “Rental hiring and real estate services stage 4 restrictions – Click here

Information about permitted work sites operating under Victoria’s stage 4 restrictions

Employers for Permitted Work Premises are only permitted to have employees on-site if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home and the employer and employee comply with the directions currently in force, including the Workplace Directions and the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions.

Where a Permitted Work Premises is able to operate on-site, additional restrictions may apply as listed below and in the Directions.

  • Ancillary and support businesses are able to open on-site to ensure the necessary production, supply, manufacturerepair, maintenance, cleaning, security, wholesale, distribution, transportation or sale of equipment, goods or services required for the operations of a Permitted Work Premises.

For more information on Business and Industry Stage 4 restrictionsClick here

For more information on Permitted workersClick here

To access a template for the permitted worker permitClick here

Business Victoria COVID-19 Business Support pageClick here

For guidelines on creating a COVIDSafe PlanClick here

If you need information on the operation of your business or access to assistance relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) you can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15

For information on the Business Support PackageClick here

For information on the Business Support Fund ExpansionClick here

For information on the $1500 Coronavirus Worker Support PaymentClick here

For information and support for mental health during COVID-19Click here

Our business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided the following update on JobKeeper 2.0

The Government has announced that it will wind back the eligibility criteria for the JobKeeper Payment scheme for the extended period from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021. This is a welcome concession from the announcement made three weeks ago in which the conclusion of the JobKeeper Payment scheme was extended from 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021. See details of the earlier announcement here.

The latest announcement is a result of the economic impact the Victorian lockdown will have on the national economy and will ensure that more businesses and employees are eligible to receive JobKeeper payments.

Turnover Tests

  • For the first extension period to 3 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen (using the relevant existing decline in turnover tests) in the September 2020 quarter only relative to the corresponding quarter in 2019.
  • For the second extension period to 28 March 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will be required to demonstrate that their actual GST turnover has significantly fallen (using the relevant existing decline in turnover tests) in the December 2020 quarter only relative to the corresponding quarter in 2019.

Under the rules announced on 21 July 2020, businesses would have been required to demonstrate that their turnover for the first period had fallen in both the June and September quarter, and for the third period that their turnover had fallen in all of the June, September and December quarters.

Employee Eligibility 

Employees will now qualify for the JobKeeper Payment with effect from 3 August 2020 if they were employed by the business as at 1 July 2020.

Previously, the employee criteria remained unchanged with employees needing to have been employed by the business as at 1 March 2020.

Broadly, the latest JobKeeper Payment changes are summarised below:

Entity Eligibility Employee Eligibility
  Turnover Decline  Turnover test  Date of employment   Payments
From 3 August to 27 September 2020  30% for businesses with turnover less than $1b

50% for business with turnover more than $1b
15% for charities

Projected or actual turnover for individual months or quarters ended 30 June or 30 September Must be employed by the business by 1 July 2020 – other eligibility requirements remain unchanged $1,500 per fortnight to all employees connected to the business
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 Unchanged Actual turnover for the quarter ended 30 September 2020 Must be employed by the business by 1 July 2020 – other eligibility requirements remain unchanged $1,200 per fortnight to employees working more than 20 hours on average per week

$750 per fortnight for all other eligible employees

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 Unchanged Actual turnover for the quarter ended 31 December 2020 Must be employed by the business by 1 July 2020 – other eligibility requirements remain unchanged $1,000 per fortnight to employees working more than 20 hours on average per week
$650 per fortnight for all other eligible employees

The rules and other guidance are summarised on the Treasury website which can be accessed via the following links: JobKeeper Payment Extension and JobKeeper Payment 

As the COVID-19 crisis and expected disruptions continue, we remain committed to supporting our members during this time of uncertainty.

The National Office continues to closely monitor all relevant information from government and public health departments.

Today the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has provided further details on Stage 4 restrictions which are applicable for all of metropolitan Melbourne.
Complete details on Stage 4 restrictions can be found in the linked document – Stage 4 Restrictions Overview
Some of the main points that were covered and may be applicable to our members include
  • Retail shops that can remain open under stage four include supermarkets, food stores, liquor shops, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, newsagents, post offices and outlets selling disability and maternity supplies – Hardware, building and garden stores will be open to tradespeople only, with the public limited to contactless ‘click and collect’ pick-up only.
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services – Rental and Hiring Services may continue with a COVIDSafe Plan – where supplying to permitted services or industry.
  • Education and Training – the Victorian Government document states “Assessments for safe working practices and infection control” can continue with a COVIDSafe plan in place. The National Office is seeking further clarification on what this means for EWPA and TSHA Training.
  • Mr Andrews said construction was the “lifeblood” of the Victorian economy but it would be reduced to a “pilot light” phase for the next six weeks starting midnight Friday 7th August. The sector has been broken into three groups:
    • Major Government projects would look at reducing staff safely,
    • Large construction sites of more than three storeys would need to reduce their workforce to no more than 25 per cent,
    • Domestic home construction could continue with no more than five people on site.
We are working on further clarification on the above, however wanted to provide an update to members as soon as possible.The HRIA National Office also continues to lobby the Government requesting economic support for our members.
The Premier advised as this is an ever changing situation, further announcements will be made in the coming days – we will continue to provide details as they come to hand.
As always, should you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us as required.

The Prime Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Families and Social Services have today announced  JobKeeper payment and income support has been extended by six months to 28 March 2021 and the temporary Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until 31 December 2020.

Read the full media release here

The Queensland Government is extending the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program.
The objective of this program is to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions announced by the Queensland Government, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience.
The available grant amount is a minimum of $2,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business.
Round 2 will open on 1 July 2020
Small businesses across NSW will be able to apply for funding to help them safely reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown.
Under the new Small Business Recovery Grant, small businesses will be able to apply for funding up to $3000 from July 1.
The grants can be used to cover marketing and advertising expenses, make fit-out changes and train staff in how to work safely under the current COVID-19 health conditions.

With the impact of the COVID-19 crisis being felt globally, the hire industry has been adversely affected to varying degrees. Whilst the events sector of the hire industry was immediately and heavily impacted, hire businesses supplying the construction sector have seen more moderate initial impact.

Following the recent relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions surrounding business operations, social distancing and public gatherings, there still remains a strong government mandate to ensure businesses take appropriate steps to minimise the risk of spread of COVID-19 and protect the wellbeing of their employees. All Australian Governments have agreed to a set of National COVID19 Safe Work Principles to guide us and ensure that our workplaces are healthy and safe.

In response the HRIA has created a COVIDSafe Guidance document to assist hire and rental operations at this time and ensure the safety and vitality of our industry. The objective of this guide is to provide practical guidance on how to minimise exposure to COVID-19 for staff, customers and other site visitors. This guide was designed to assist those reopening their operation if it has been closed as well as bolster your approach if you have remained open.

To access the guide please visit the member section of the HRIA website. Please note you will need to login as a member to access this document.

The Safe Work Australia website has been updated to provide a central hub of work health and safety (WHS) guidance and tools to help Australian workplaces manage the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. 

The website gives users easy access to guidance that is directly relevant to their specific industry. It includes guidance about physical distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, workers’ compensation, how to conduct risk assessments and design emergency plans, as well as providing case studies to help explain how to manage the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

There are 23 industries to choose from as well as general industry information if your industry is not listed. “Hire” is not one of the industries that has been highlighted, however similar industries such as warehousing, retail and construction have been listed, which can be viewed alongside the general industry information.

You can also use the search bar to find specific COVID-19 WHS content or browse through the information for your industry.

New information and guidance continue to be developed and the website will be updated with new information as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Our Useful Links has also been updated with this information.

Our legal partner MST Lawyers have provided a further update on JobKeeper

JobKeeper Update: 28 April 2020

On 24 April 2020, the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, provided a media release which altered the eligibility of 16 and 17 year old employees for the JobKeeper scheme. Additionally, on Monday, 27 April 2020, the ATO extended deadlines for enrolment and payment for the scheme. This update provides additional information in relation to both these matters.

Press release – Integrity of the Scheme
The Press Release provided, amongst other things:

Full time students aged 16 and 17 years old: 

As noted in the explanatory statement to the existing rules, the benefit of the JobKeeper payment to workers over the age of 16 is justified for those who are financially independent and who require the security provided by participation in the JobKeeper scheme and the maintenance of the working relationship that it affords.  The rules will provide that full time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.  This clarification will apply prospectively, which would mean an eligible employer that has already met the wage condition of paying such an employee $1,500 for a fortnight could be entitled to a JobKeeper Payment in arrears for that fortnight.

At this stage, no information has been provided in relation to the definition of ‘financially independent’.

‘One in, all in’ principle: 
Once an employer decides to participate in the JobKeeper scheme and their eligible employees have agreed to be nominated by the employer, the employer must ensure that all of these eligible employees are covered by their participation in the scheme. This includes all eligible employees who are undertaking work for the employer or have been stood down. The employer cannot select which eligible employees will participate in the scheme.  As noted in the explanatory statement to the existing rules, this ‘one in, all in’ principle is already a key feature of the scheme and will be made clearer in the rules.

ATO Update

On Monday 27 April 2020, the Australian Tax Office amended its deadlines for (a) enrollment into the JobKeeper scheme, and (b) the payment of the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April).

If you enrol by 31 May 2020 you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

The ATO will now accept that the minimum $1,500 payments for each of the first two fortnights have been paid, even if paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020. If you do not have the payment to employees by this date you will not be able to claim the first two fortnights of JobKeeper payments.

What does this mean for Members? 

At this stage we have not received any amended Rules to clarify how these changes will work in practice. Nor have we received any information in relation to Members that wish to continue to pay their 16 and 17 year old employees the JobKeeper entitlement, despite the latest changes.

If you have already paid 16 and 17 year old full-time students who are not independent, the Australian Government will still reimburse you for the amounts already paid to the employees, assuming you met the wage condition of $1,500 per fortnight.

To ensure Members are not out of pocket at the end of the JobKeeper Scheme in September 2020, Members must now confirm, in writing, with their 16 and 17 year old employees and their parents if they are:

Studying full-time; and
Are financially dependent on their parents (e.g. live at home etc).

If any employee 17 years of age or younger meets the above two criteria, Members should not pay those employees the JobKeeper moving forward.

If you have any questions in relation to JobKeeper, please contact HRNet – contact details can be found on the Member section of the HRIA website.

The HRIA National Office and HLB Mann Judd presented a webinar to members on 23 April to assist in managing the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

Members can view the slides presented as well as a recording of the webinar by visiting the HRIA Accounting and Business Advisory Services page within the Member Section of the HRIA website.

Some additional links as well as HLB Mann Judd contact details for assistance can also be found here.

Enrolment for JobKeeper Payment opens 20 April 2020 (TODAY). These must be completed by 30 April 2020 to claim JobKeeper payments for April. HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided a further update on the JobKeeper Payment below.

In summary, the JobKeeper Payment provides a wage subsidy to businesses impacted by Coronavirus. The Government will provide eligible employers with $1,500 per fortnight per employee to help them retain workers through this period.

For some businesses assessing eligibility will be relatively straightforward. However, there may be a substantial number where there will be issues to resolve. This may include determining the turnover position (which is not simply GST per the BAS) and determining which employees (or self-employed individuals) are eligible for the JobKeeper payment.  There may also be some circumstances where a business may seem not to qualify; however, there may be alternative eligibility criteria which provide the basis for applying. HLB Mann Judd can help you with this.

Please note: incorrectly claiming would leave the business with the obligation to repay the JobKeeper benefit received even though it has been paid to the employee. There also can be penalties for improperly obtaining JobKeeper benefits.

Enrolment for JobKeeper Payment opens 20 April 2020 (TODAY) and must be completed by 30 April 2020 to claim JobKeeper payments for April.

To complete the process yourself, you will need a myGovID which has been linked to the ABN of the business in Relationship Authorisation Manager.

Click here for details on how to set this up

The ATO has detailed the application and enrolment process on their website which can be accessed below:

Click here to view the detailed application process

Alternatively, as the process is not necessarily straightforward, HLB Mann Judd is happy to assist you with completing the necessary enrolment and application forms. Or you could also ask your accountant to assist.

Some of the ways HLB Mann Judd can help you navigate the JobKeeper Payment enrolment process include:

Assistance with ascertaining employer eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment which may include:

  • Preparation of calculation of aggregated turnover
  • Preparation of calculation of GST-modified turnover
  • Preparation of forecasted fall (or likely fall) in projected turnover

Assistance with ascertaining employee eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment

  • Checking employee status
  • Checking timing of employment
  • Visa considerations

Preparation of enrolment and application form relying on client information

Other Services 

  • Application of alternative eligibility requirements for start-ups or other entities where prior-year period is not comparable
  • Preparation and lodgement of monthly JobKeeper declaration report

If you would like our assistance HLB Mann Judd Contact details can be found on the Member Section of the HRIA website.

JobKeeper update

HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided a further update on the JobKeeper Payment.

Key Points for Employers​ 

  • All eligible employers / entities must register their interest on the ATO website.
  • Employers will be eligible if, at the time of applying, they estimate that their turnover has fallen (or will likely fall) by at least 30% as a result of the current restrictions / COVID-19 impact relative to a comparable period in 2019.
  • The period will be based on the usual GST reporting period of the business, i.e. for monthly lodgers this can be a month from March 2020 to September 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. For quarterly lodgers, the comparison is between the turnover for the June or September 2020 quarters and the same quarter in 2019.
  • If turnover has not yet declined but it is expected to do so, a business can start claiming from a future period, although payments will not be backdated.
  • Businesses whose “aggregated turnover” for income tax purposes is likely to exceed $1 billion must instead show a 50% reduction in turnover. For testing whether the 50% rate applies the turnover of certain related entities, including foreign residents, is taken into account.
  • Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR’s) and other charities registered with ACNC will be eligible if they estimate their turnover has fallen (or will likely fall) by at least 15% or more relative to a comparable period a year earlier.
  • When calculating the reduction, turnover is defined to be “GST turnover” as reported on Business Activity Statements. It includes all Australian taxable supplies and GST free supplies but not input taxed supplies.
  • Consistent with the GST law includes only Australian-based sales, so a decline in overseas operations will not be counted in the turnover test.
  • Where a business or charity was not in operation a year earlier, or the turnover a year earlier is not representative of their usual turnover (e.g. where it was impacted by the drought), the ATO has discretion to consider additional information to establish that they have been adversely impacted by COVID19, and apply an alternative methodology.
  • The JobKeeper Payment covers part time, full time, stood down employees and long-term casual workers (that is, those who have been with their employer on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months).
  • Payments will be available for a period of 6 months from 30 March 2020.
  • The Payment applies to employees ‘on the books’ as at 1 March 2020.  Therefore, there is an opportunity for staff that had been terminated or stood down in the past weeks to be reinstated and become eligible.
  • Employers will need to report to the ATO on a monthly basis regarding the number of eligible employees.
  • To be eligible however, employees cannot be getting other benefits such as Job Seeker payments.

Eligibility of Sole Traders

  • Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can also register their interest in applying for JobKeeper payments from 30 March 2020.
  • Sole traders will need to have had an ABN on or before 12 March 2020 and have either:
    • Reported an amount of assessable income in their 2019 tax return, if lodged prior to 12 March 2020; or
    • Made a supply between 1 July 2018 and 12 March 2020 and provided this information to the ATO prior to 12 March 2020​
  • Sole traders will need to provide an ABN and nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number as well as provide a declaration as to recent business activity.

Eligibility of Other “Self-Employment” Entities

  • Other entities carrying on a business may be able to receive the JobKeeper Payment for one (but only one) “owner” who is working in the business but not receiving their remuneration as an employee:
    • One partner in an eligible partnership can be nominated.
    • One individual beneficiary can be nominated.
    • One director in an eligible company can be nominated.
    • One shareholder in an eligible company, receiving their remuneration for labour by way of dividends, may be nominated

The Payment Process

  • Businesses must have paid their employees before they are entitled to receive the JobKeeper Payment. Employers will be reimbursed by the ATO monthly in arrears starting from 1 May 2020, backdated to 30 March 2020.
  • The payments to employees should be made through an employer’s payroll system and reported to the ATO via Single Touch Payroll.
  • Each employer in a group generally reports separately in relation to their JobKeeper Payment obligations, although certain adjustments will be made for sales by members of GST Groups.
  • Eligible employers must pay eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 (before PAYG withholding) per fortnight (from 30 March 2020) in order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.  If the employee has not been paid this minimum amount a ‘top-up’ payment will be required to be made.
  • If the eligible employee is paid more than $1,500 per fortnight (before PAYG withholding), the employer will only be reimbursed up to $1,500 per fortnight.
  • The JobKeeper Payment will generally be made by the ATO directly to the employer and will not be used to offset other tax liabilities.

Superannuation Obligations

  • Where an employee is usually paid more than $1,500 per fortnight and continues to be paid more than $1,500 per fortnight, the employer’s superannuation obligations will not change.
  • Where an employee’s wages are “topped-up” to meet the minimum payment requirement of $1,500 per fortnight, there is no additional superannuation obligation in respect of the “top-up” payment being made.

As an employer or sole trader, you can register your interest in applying for the “JobKeeper” payments with the ATO via the link below.

Click here to register your interest in claiming JobKeeper Payments

We will continue to keep you updated with further information on stimulus measures. For further updates, visit HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre to help you and your business in this challenging time.

Jobkeeper – New Employer Rights

On 8 April 2020, amidst the ongoing health and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the
Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No 2) Bill
2020 (the Bill), which will take effect on the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.
The Bill does not deal with how JobKeeper payments are to be made or administered, as well as other issues
(that will be relevant to employers), which we expect will be detailed shortly by the Government.
This update will focus solely on businesses with an annual turnover of less than $1billion.  To read more click HERE.

For more information on Preventative guidelines for hire operations during the COVID-19 pandemic please click HERE.

HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann have provided an update on commercial property tenancies.

On 7 April 2020, The Hon Scott Morrison announced a set of “good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies” and “to aid the management of cashflow for SME tenants and landlords on a proportionate basis” through the implementation of the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME commercial leasing principles during COVID-19.

Unlike other COVID-19 measures previously announced by Mr Morrison, the Code is generally not prescriptive in nature and more principles-based.

Timeframe

  1. The exact commencement date has not been set. That date may be different in each state and territory but will be a date following 3 April 2020 (though it is reasonable to believe it will be soon after that date).
  2. The end date is subject to change as it is for the period during which the JobKeeper Payment program remains operational.

The Code is only accessible to a tenant that is both:

  • A commercial tenant: including that of retail, office and industrial premises (it does not apply to residential tenancies); and
  • An SME tenant: being eligible for the JobKeeper Payment program, having an annual turnover of up to $50 million. The annual turnover threshold will be applied in respect of:
    • ­ Franchises at the franchisee level.
    • ­ Retail corporate groups at the group level (rather than at the individual retail outlet level).

The objective of the Code is to share, in a proportionate, measured manner, the financial risk and cashflow impact during the COVID-19 period, whilst seeking to appropriately balance the interests of tenants and landlords.  It does this by setting out a number of Overarching Principles.

Furthermore, in negotiating and enacting appropriate temporary arrangements under the Code, the Leasing Principles should be applied as soon as practicable on a case-by-case basis.

From Appendix I to the Code: 
The following scenarios are examples only, noting the circumstance of each landlord, SME tenant and lease are different, and are subject to negotiation and agreement in good faith. 
Examples of practical variations reflecting the application of the principle of proportionality may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Qualifying tenants would be provided with cash flow relief in proportion to the loss of turnover they have experienced from the COVID-19 crisis.
    • ­ ie. a 60% loss in turnover would result in a guaranteed 60% cash flow relief. 
    • ­ At a minimum, half is provided as rent free/rent waiver for the proportion of which the qualifying tenant’s revenue has fallen. 
    • ­ Up to half could be through a deferral of rent, with this to be recouped over at least 24 months in a manner that is negotiated by the parties.
      • So if the tenant’s revenue has fallen by 100%, then at least 50% of total cash flow relief is rent free/rent waiver and the remainder is a rent deferral. If the qualifying tenant’s revenue has fallen by 30%, then at least 15% of total cash flow relief is rent free/rent waiver and the remainder is rent deferral. 
      • Care should be taken to ensure that any repayment of the deferred rent does not compromise the ability of the affected SME tenant to recover from the crisis. 
    • ­ The parties would be free to make an alternative commercial arrangement to this formula if that is their wish.

Click here for further details about what a tenant should expect from their landlord if they can access the Code.

We will continue to keep you updated with further information on stimulus measures. For further updates, visit HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre to help you and your business in this challenging time.

The National Office has received numerous enquiries with regards to standing down of employees. As such we have reached out to our legal partner MST Lawyers for further clarification.

Firstly, looking at stand down versus redundancy. Currently, employers are facing a tough decision, namely whether to stand down employees or make them redundant. To be able to make the decision, employers must first understand the difference.

Stand down
Employees who are stood down must be done so in accordance with section 524 of the Fair Work Act, an enterprise agreement or contract of employment.

In summary, stand down is available where there is a stoppage of work for which the employer cannot be reasonably held responsible. This includes acts of god, enforceable government directions, breakdown of machinery etc.

Generally, a shortage of work would not be considered a reason to stand employees down and therefore advice should be sought before any decision to stand down is made.

When stood down employees are still employed, they accrue entitlements such as annual leave, personal leave and long service leave. Additionally, they must receive payment for all public holidays that they would have worked had they not been on stand down.

Stand down is done so without pay.

Redundancy
Redundancy is used when an employer needs to terminate the employee’s employment due to the employer no longer requiring the employee’s role to be done by anyone.

This is usually enacted where there are efficiencies that have been created (e.g new software) which results in a person’s job no longer being required, or where there is a lack of work enabling one person to undertake two employee’s roles.

When someone is made redundant their employment will be terminated and they are entitled to be paid out all entitlements including their notice period, wages, redundancy pay (if applicable) and accrued but untaken annual leave and long service leave.

Stand down and the implications to JobKeeper payment

Question
If someone is stood down, are they free to secure another job in the meantime? 
Answer
That is correct, they can obtain another job without affecting their stand down.

Question
How does someone being stood down and securing a second role affect a JobKeeper payment that their employer may be looking to secure? 
Answer
The legislation, due on Wednesday, should provide additional information on this point however it is clear that you will only be able to receive JobKeeper from one employer.  As a result, employees who commence employment with a second employer will likely receive their JobKeeper from that employer and therefore no payment would be made from the company that they have been stood down from.

It is anticipated that some employees will be obtaining secondary employment but hoping to claim the full $1500 from their original employer. This is likely to be commented on in the legislation.

More details will be provided once the JobKeeper legislation is passed.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and expected disruption increases, we remain committed to supporting our members during this time of uncertainty.

The National Office continues to closely monitor all relevant information from government and public health departments. Following government advice regarding lockdown and social distancing, we will be working remotely from Monday 30 March.

The management team are meeting twice daily to discuss new and developing news items, plan appropriate responses and action appropriate association activities to support our members. Members will be well informed regarding the associations’ activities via association and news websites, social media channels, newsletters, and direct email campaigns.

Prior to the National Office making the decision to work remotely, we undertook full end-to-end testing of our business continuity systems to allow for such an event.

As long as courier services remain operational and further lockdown policies allow, stationery will still be processed, however there will be delays in processing.

The National Office will continue to do everything we can to ensure the continuity of our operations so that we can in turn offer the best possible service to our members.

As always, should you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us as required.

Hotline IT have put together the below with regards to COVID-19 scams in order to help members.

Sadly, COVID-19 is not the only virus we have to be aware of right now. Unprecedented times like these are a petri dish of perfect conditions for criminals. While we are scrambling to implement new working from home arrangements and business continuity plans, criminals have already jumped in to action.

We have seen a number of specific scams targeting people under the cover of COVID-19 assistance. Some of these are:

  • Phishing emails, phone calls and text messages impersonating credible organisations such as World Health Organisation, Government, Medicare, Centrelink advising of coronavirus cases and asking for information.
  • Phishing emails and phone calls impersonating travel agents, and telecommunications companies offering
  • Investment scams
  • Calls and emails impersonating charities looking for payments.
  • Online shopping scams offering hard to get items such as toilet paper with free delivery
  • Stores offering to sell cures or vaccines for coronavirus
  • Emails and text messages impersonating your 2 factor authentication “detected a login. If this is NOT you, click here”. This is a particularly nasty one, as it plays on our heightened sense of security.

There will be more. So the key is to have appropriate awareness and behaviour with regards to cyber/digital security. Many of us are also working from home, where security tools are significantly weaker.

  • DO NOT click links in emails or SMS messages
  • DO NOT provide information over the phone to people that have called you and also don’t call them back on the number they give you.
  • DO get information from credible sources such as WHO, ABC.NET.AU, GOV.AU
  • DO ask a professional if you are unsure

During times like these, where there is confusion, uncertainty, fast change and often misinformation, we all need to be EXTRA vigilant. Anyone you don’t personally know that is offering you help should be treated with the utmost caution. Whether you receive phone calls, emails, SMS messages, WhatsApp requests, Zoom meeting invites or any other unexpected contact, my advice is to reject and verify. You can always ring them back!

As always, Hotline IT are available to help HRIA members that have questions, need advice or need technology assistance

For more information please visit the below website.

https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/widespread-reports-covid-19-malicious-scams-being-sent-australians

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

Over the last fortnight, various Governments around Australia have announced a range of economic stimulus measures designed to support businesses in navigating the financial challenges of COVID-19.

With all the information out there it is hard to know what businesses should be doing.

HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have provided a number of tools which they have made available to HRIA, EWPA and TSHA members.

They have put together a simple factsheet to help you understand the key stimulus measures and what actions businesses need to consider and implement now.

They have also gathered a panel of experts including Todd Gammel – Partner Risk & Restructuring and Simon James – Partner Corporate Advisory to talk through the impact and actions of the federal and state government stimulus packages and what you need to be doing.

Read the factsheet

View the video

HLB Mann Judd are available to support HRIA, EWPA and TSHA members, and are happy to assist you in talking through the options available and helping you apply for any of these packages.

In addition please visit the HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre for insights to help you and your business during this challenging time.

Members can contact HB Mann Judd via the HRIA member hotline – which can be found on the member section of the HRIA website.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and further restrictions are put in place, the HRIA, EWPA and TSHA remain committed to our members.

Regarding the definition of ‘Essential Services,’ the National Office has contacted all state and territory MPs as well as federal MPs whose portfolios include emergency services.  From a more operational perspective, we have also contacted the state and territory Emergency Management Centres who coordinate resources and equipment in times of emergency.

We are currently lobbying to have hire companies included as an ‘essential service’so members can provide the required equipment to various government departments, emergency services and essential infrastructure projects during a period of lockdown.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

Key questions and considerations for business owners during these uncertain times.

With Australia’s heightened level of precaution concerning the COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to emphasise that we are here to support and guide you through this difficult time of uncertainty.

HRIA business advisory partners HLB Mann Judd have prepared the following list of questions and considerations which should assist you with developing COVID-19 businesses strategies limiting the impact and disruption occurring from the virus spread.

Management and business plans
Clients should take the time to think about their operation and the continuity of their business at various stages of this outbreak, with the likely scenarios being:

  1. Best case – limited impact to usual trading conditions
  2. Worst case – potentially forced closure periods as a result of the virus spreading and changes in Government policies
  3. Likely – some impact to trading. Reduced activity and revenue, increased costs to meet social distancing requirements, disruption to supply chains, employees inability to work due to third party closures, inefficiencies in productivity if a need to work remotely, etc.

At each stage, there should be a defined set of actions you are prepared to implement and communicate with appropriate people in your organisation to addressing the following items. We also suggest that you try not to focus on all the possibilities (as there are too many), just focus on the plan.

Staffing & Human Resources
For most employers, your staff’s health and safety must be your major focus. If an employee contracts the virus, you will need to address the following questions:

  • Will you require to have everyone off-site for a period of time?
  • Will your employees be willing to come to work if someone is diagnosed?

If in a likely scenario that stricter distancing requirements are enforced, consider:

  • Rostering your workforce into teams, where one team is in the workplace and the other is working remotely, alternating weeks
  • Physically distancing people in the workplace, especially if they have dedicated workspaces
  • Limiting in-house meetings and investigate alternatives
  • If a service-based industry, changing face to face appointments to phone or video conferences
  • What your obligations are under the Fair Work Act with regards to leave obligations, self-isolation and return to work policies
  • What rights you have as an employer to request reduced staff hours or to work from home.
  • Whether you are enforcing a ban on domestic work-related travel
  • If you will be cancelling work related functions, staff networking events and conferences
  • Sending ongoing reminders regarding hygiene practices in the workplace and ask staff to clean down their areas at the end each day
  • Increasing cleaning of the workplace to promote a healthy and clean environment.

Engaging early with your Human Resources team will also help determine an action plan for any of the above scenarios and assist with your COVID-19 businesses strategies.

Cashflow & business management
Questions for consideration are:

  • What level of cash position should you maintain to ensure operations continue?
  • What is a base minimum you need to cover wages and other overheads to keep doors open?

We recommend that you consider all avenues possible to increase cash reserves now, as building up reserves early in the cycle will ensure that your business can ride out uncertain times for longer. This includes:

  • Following up on outstanding monies that are owed to your business. As the economy slows, businesses will traditionally withhold payments from each other.
  • Engaging early with your bank to arrange repayment deferrals, interest free periods or conversion to interest only loans. Most banks have released their interim COVID-19 financial hardship plan (expect more to come).
  • Considering if your business requires an overdraft or other facility to help cover expenses during difficult times.
  • Engaging with your landlord (if relevant) to request rent relief or negotiate other terms due to a decrease in trading conditions.
  • Assessing which creditors or outstanding bills are vital to ensure operations continue and which you may be able to extend with payment plans. Be careful here, as good relationships with suppliers may be key to your ongoing business.
  • Contacting your suppliers early to arrange payment terms to prevent forced collections.
  • Reviewing overheads and reduce any discretionary expenditure. This may include advertising expenditure, parking and travel costs, phone services provided to staff where an allowance may be more suitable, meal and entertainment expenditure, etc.
  • Reviewing assets that you have at hand and consider their viability in the business. Are there any that can be sold? Do you have any equipment on hire that you can return? Are vehicle upgrades a necessity or is limiting vehicles that are provided to staff a possibility to reduce unnecessary spending.
  • Where applicable, reviewing trade terms with clients and consider logistic and supply chain delays. Will this carry costs to your business or can you extend the terms with your clients?

Look at this as a good a time to do some cashflow house-keeping using the above items to get you started. Its also a good time to give some thought to your forecasts and future cashflow modelling of the various scenarios. If you are looking for relief or credit assistance from banks they will likely require this in coming months.

If in the unfortunate event business conditions do deteriorate, having an understanding workforce will be key to helping your business ride uncertain times. We know its not pleasant and a last resort, but you should also consider your rights and positions if:

  • You need to ask staff to work reduced hours;
  • You need to ask staff to stand down for a period of time;
  • You plan to ask staff to take leave; or
  • Positions become redundant.

Again, please refer to Fair Work Australia or your HR adviser for further advice.

Technology
Complete an IT and computer systems audit of your workforce in preparation for the possibility of the need to work remotely. Things to consider:

  • Types of IT hardware (computers/laptops, scanners) already in place for work and at home.
  • Request details of your employees’ home internet speeds and data limits.
  • Determine if staff have anti-virus protections and necessary peripherals eg monitors/cameras to assist in maintaining efficiency and contact whilst working remotely.
  • Identify who your key IT person is, both internally and externally.
  • Assess if a move to cloud-based systems may be beneficial or necessary for the business, including email systems, accounting systems and key documents.
  • If data is key to your business (and these days it is for most), review your back-up and server/data redundancy procedures:
    • How often do back-ups occur?
    • Do you have off-site back-ups?
    • Do you regularly test your back-ups?

If staff do need to work remotely, consider how this will be implemented and consult with your IT provider to assess and address this early. Contemplate the following in this regard:

  • Does your current infrastructure have the ability and capacity to carry a remote workforce?

The impact on productivity with a remote workforce and how best to extract efficiencies. This may mean, some staff may come into the workplace and others work remotely.

If you need any IT or computer hardware, supply chains are presently strained. Consider what you absolutely need and don’t need.

  • How will your phone systems operate if you have a reception or call centre?
  • Are online phone conferencing, group messaging and web calling providers required?
  • Do you have an IT back-up crew if your current provider is impacted?

It is wise to review and determine an implementation plan. A move to a remote workforce will take time away from staff and take time for IT personnel to implement. Run a trial before full implementation, if you can.Compliance & Government assistance

We are still waiting on the release of the Government’s full assistance measures to be released. Below are the current key assistance items to note:

  • The ATO are allowing deferrals for BAS payment obligations.
  • Where eligible, businesses will be allowed to vary their PAYG Instalments to nil and, on application, obtain refunds for the September and December 2019 quarters already paid which will provide cashflow relief.
  • Employers with turnover under $50 million will receive tax free payments/credits against their PAYG/Withholding obligations, therefore decreasing March and June 2020 quarterly BAS payments, or providing additional refunds where applicable.
  • There will also be wage subsidies available to be applied for businesses who have staff of fewer than 20 employees and employ approved apprentices/trainees.
  • The immediate asset write-off limit has increased from $30,000 to $150,000.
  • The NSW Government will waive payroll tax for businesses with payroll up to $10 million for three months (April, May, June 2020).
  • Payroll tax threshold for 2020-2021 in NSW has been raised to $1 million.
  • There will also be a waiver of a range of fees and charges for small businesses in the hospitality trade industries.

We will continue to update you on any further relief measures as and when they become available.

Further information & assistance
By considering the above points and acting early, your business will be in the best position possible.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
Alexander Graham Bell

If you find that you are experiencing difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19 or would like to discuss any of the above points, please do not hesitate to contact us. By doing so early, we will then be able to:

  1. Assist you with cashflow management plans.
  2. Engage with the ATO on your behalf to access their stimulus measures, including payment of deferrals and potential tax refunds.
  3. Be there to guide you through these unprecedented times.

In the meantime, read HLB Mann Judd’s update on the Stimulus Package which will also assist your COVID-19 businesses strategies .

For more information regarding Australian workplace laws, please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The dedicated team at HLB, together with their greater network, that can assist you to review/assess options and find solutions during this difficult time.

Members can contact HLB Mann Judd via the HRIA member hotline.

Our legal partner MST Lawyers have put together a COVID-19 guide specifically for those within the Hire and Rental Industry.
This employment guide is available for download now on the HRNet page on the HRIA website.

We have also consolidated additional and updated information on mass gatherings, with most states providing further clarity. Please follow the links below
New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
Western Australia
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory
South Australia – yet to be announced – follow Australian Govt Dept of Health advice

As new information and updates come to hand, we will communicate these with you.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues and expected disruption timeframes increase, the HRIA, EWPA and TSHA National Office remains committed to servicing our members during this time of uncertainty.

The National Office has and continues to closely monitor all relevant information from relevant government and public health departments and have undertaken the following steps:

  • The national office team is meeting daily to discuss developing health and safety issues and how these will be addressed within the office. This allows us to ensure our staff are well informed and that we keep the health and well being of the office as a central priority. Key to our discussions are sustained adoption of enhanced hygiene protocols and maintaining appropriate social distancing.
  • Given the speed of COVID-19 escalation,  the management team are meeting twice daily to disseminate new/developing news items, plan appropriate responses and continue to plan and action appropriate association activities to support our members. Members will be well informed regarding the associations activities via association  and news websites, social media channels, and direct email campaigns.
  • Whilst the national office staff continue to work from our Mona Vale offices, we have undertaken full end-to-end testing of our business continuity systems to allow for remote working in the event of a lock down. In the event of a lock down (subject to shipping/courier availability) the national office will be able to operate in a normal capacity.

The National Office will continue to do everything we can to ensure the continuity of our operations so that we can in term offer the best possible service to our members.

As always, should you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us as required.

As an organisation Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) has been constantly monitoring the evolving situation in relation to the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We understand and appreciate the effect this situation is having on many of our members.

The HRIA has engaged with our financial advisory partner HLB Mann Judd to provide guidance / advice with regards to contract terms and conditions. For more information about how HLB Mann Judd can help your business in this unprecedented time, please call their business helpline: 02 9020 4211.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Update 18 March 2020

Federal – Announced : 12 March 2020
$25,000 by way of rebate of 50% on PAYG withholding up to 30 June 2020
Increase instant asset write off to businesses with $500m turnover to $150,000 (applies from 12 March to 30 June 2020) and additional 50% tax deduction to 2021
Wage assistance for each apprentice paid from 1 January to 30 September 2020

ATO – Announced : 12 March 2020
Lodgement and payment deferrals by up to four months
Monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds
Vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter and claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019
Remitting any interest and penalties, on or after 23 January 2020
Low interest payment plans

New South Wales – Announced : 17 March 2020
Payroll tax waived for the June 2020 quarter for businesses with payroll to $10m
2021 payroll tax threshold to be increased to $1m
Waiver of some charges and licencing fees for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradespeople

Other States

Queensland – Announced : 17 March 2020
Western Australia – Announced : 16 March 2020
South Australia – Announced : 11 March 2020
Northern Territory – Announced : 18 March 2020
Tasmania – Announced : 17 March 2020
ACT – No state package announced yet
Victoria – No state package announced yet
Melbourne City Council – Announced : 18 March 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Update 18 March 2020

The Federal and State Governments have responded to the coronavirus outbreak by announcing numerous ‘stimulus package’ measures. These measures have a focus on boosting the health system and providing incentives to small businesses to protect jobs over the next 6 months.

For some announcements legislation will need to pass through respective Parliaments, at this stage it is unclear when Parliaments will sit to pass bills.

Federal – Announced : 12 March 2020

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

Up to $25,000 cash for businesses with up to $50m turnover through a rebate of 50% on PAYG withholding included in instalments up to 30 June 2020.
How to apply: Automatic on lodging relevant activity statements

Increase instant asset write off to businesses with $500m turnover to $150,000 (applies from 12 March to 30 June 2020).
How to apply: Deduction claimed in relevant tax return

50% tax deduction for assets acquired and installed by businesses with less than $500 million turnover through to 30 June 2021. The remaining 50% will be subject to existing depreciation rules.
How to apply: Deduction claimed in relevant tax returns

Up to $7,000 each quarter in wage assistance for each apprentice for wages paid from 1 January to 30 September 2020.
How to apply: Employers can register on the Australian Apprenticeships website from 2 April 2020. https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/

One-off payment of $750 to welfare recipients.
How to apply: No application required. Welfare recipients should expect this to be paid automatically from 31 March.

ATO – Announced : 12 March 2020

https://www.ato.gov.au/Media-centre/Media-releases/Support-measures-to-assist-those-affected-by-COVID-19/

Deferring by up to four months payment of amounts due through BASs, income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise
Opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds
Vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter and claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters

Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities
Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low interest payment plans.
How to apply: Apply to Australian Taxation Office through Tax Agent or phone ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218

New South Wales – Announced : 17 March 2020

https://www.nsw.gov.au/your-government/the-premier/media-releases-from-the-premier/2-3-billion-health-boost-and-economic-stimulus/

Waiver of payroll tax for the final 2020 June quarter for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million.
How to apply: Automatic, expected to be applied to next monthly return.

Fast track of the next round of payroll tax cuts will raise the threshold limit to $1 million for the 2020-2021 financial year.
How to apply: Automatic, expected to be applied to monthly returns from 1 July.

Waiver of some charges and licencing fees for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradespeople.
The NSW State Government are yet to specify eligibility and which fees will be waived.
$250 million to employ additional cleaners of public infrastructure including public transport and schools as well as bringing forward of maintenance on public assets, bring forward capital works projects.

Queensland – Announced : 17 March 2020

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/3/17/palaszczuk-government-offers-500m-in-loans-to-support-workers-in-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus

The QLD Government will offer $500m in loans, and extend payroll tax deferral to all affected businesses.
The $500m concessional loan facility will comprise of loans up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest-free period.
Judging from the popularity of its initial payroll tax deferral available to small and medium businesses, the QLD Government will extend the offer of a six-month payroll tax deferral to all affected QLD businesses.

Victoria
No state package announced yet

Melbourne City Council stimulus package – 18 March 2020

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-passes-10m-stimulus-package-aimed-at-small-business-20200318-p54b7j.html

$500,000 in grants to support businesses to develop e-commerce and online services
Up to $1 million for training and support at businesses
A virtual business support summit at Melbourne Town Hall
Suspending fees for Food Act registrations and street trading and outdoor dining permits for three months
Halving rent for eligible tenants in council-owned buildings for three months
Deploying casual and part-time cleaners
Establishing a support service to provide advice to struggling businesses

Western Australia – Announced : 16 March 2020

https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2020/03/COVID-19-economic-response-Relief-for-businesses-and-households.aspx

There will be no increases to household fees and charges including electricity charges, water charges, public transport fares and motor vehicle charges until 30 June 2021.
The current Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) will be doubled up to $600.
Businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500.
$1 million payroll tax threshold is to be brought forward to 1 July 2020.
Businesses affected by the outbreak may apply to defer payment of their 2020 payroll tax to 21 July 2020.
Introduction of 20 days of paid COVID-19 leave for public sector workers whom are directly affected by the virus. This will be extended to casual workers and will not affect any other leave entitlements.

South Australia – Announced : 11 March 2020

https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/unprecedented-response-and-economic-stimulus-to-drive-sa-jobs,-economy-in-wake-of-bushfires,-coronavirus2

$350 million immediate investment in road and hospital upgrades.

Northern Territory – Announced : 18 March 2020

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-18/nt-government-announces-coronavirus-stimulus-package/12065008

$6,000 grant for renovations of residential and investment properties for owners whom contribute $2,000.
$10,000 grant for upgrades to eligible businesses, and an additional $10,000 if the business contributes $10,000 themselves.

Tasmania – Announced : 17 March 2020

http://premier-dev.dpac.tas.gov.au/documents/FACT_SHEETS_-_STIMULUS_PACKAGES_Final-V2.0.pdf

Interest free loans to purchase equipment for up to three years for small businesses with less than $5 million turnover.
Waiver of payroll tax for the remaining four months of the 2020 financial year for hospitality, tourism and seafood businesses.
Businesses with annual payroll of up to $5 million in Australian wages and are immediately affected by the outbreak may apply for waiver of their payroll taxes for the quarter ending June 2020.
Introduction of a youth employment payroll tax rebate scheme.
Bring forward of $50 million maintenance of public buildings.
One-off $5,000 grant for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee.
One-off emergency relief payment of up to $250 for individuals and $1,000 for families who are required to self-isolate.
$2 million support for the health care sector and $1 million grant to mental health organisations.
0% discount on liquor licencing fees and waiver of application fees for the whole 2020 calendar year.
This back dates to 1 January 2020.

ACT

No state package announced yet

In seeking to comply with recent Public Health Orders, an area of uncertainty that has been identified by our Events members lies in how marquees/temporary structures are defined in terms of limitations for outdoor and indoor based gatherings

Current Public Health Orders set limitations for non-essential gatherings to:

  • Indoor gatherings: no greater than 100; and
  • Outdoor gatherings: no greater than 500

What has been questioned is whether gatherings utilising marquees/temporary structures should be classed as indoor or outdoor.

The recent media statement from the Prime Minister on 18th March provides greater clarity regarding this, defining indoor activities as:
An indoor gathering refers to a gathering within a single enclosed area (i.e. an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent, temporary, open or closed).

The statement from the PM is consistent with the Public Health Orders that have been issued by the NSW and VIC governments. We are following up with the other states and territories for further clarification.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

As the COVID-19 crisis escalates and the estimated timeframes for disruption stretch, the HRIA continues to work purposefully in the interests of its members. Certainly, we know that our Events sector members have been enormously impacted.

The below is a brief update on latest activities being undertaken by the HRIA to support our events and party hire members during this crisis:

  • The HRIA continues to investigate opportunities for financial support for our members. As governments look to expand their current economic stimulus/rescue packages the HRIA is actively working as part of a wider events industry consortium to lobby federal and state government to provide commercial relief to the industry.
  • Our legal partner Mason Sier Turnbull Lawyers (MST) has been engaged to provide guidance / advice with regards to contract terms and conditions. We are also seeking further HR advice in regards to stand down and redundancy policies for staff as well as investigating liabilities for hire companies in regards to non-essential gatherings
  • The HRIA is actively working with related events industry associations / bodies to develop further effective strategies to aid this sector.
    As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you. Any questions in the meantime, please email info@hireandrental.com.au or call the national office. However, due to high volumes of calls, we do ask for patience.

18th March

As the COVID-19 crisis escalates and the estimated timeframes for disruption stretch, the HRIA continues to work purposefully in the interests of its members. Certainly, we know that our Events sector members have been enormously impacted.

The below is a brief update on latest activities being undertaken by the HRIA to support our events and party hire members during this crisis:

  • The HRIA continues to investigate opportunities for financial support for our members. As governments look to expand their current economic stimulus/rescue packages the HRIA is actively working as part of a wider events industry consortium to lobby federal and state government to provide commercial relief to the industry.
  • Our legal partner Mason Sier Turnbull Lawyers (MST) has been engaged to provide guidance / advice with regards to contract terms and conditions.
  • We are also seeking further HR advice in regards to stand down and redundancy policies for staff as well as investigating liabilities for hire companies in regards to non-essential gatherings.

The HRIA is actively working with related events industry associations / bodies to develop further effective strategies to aid this sector.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

The HRIA has created a Facebook discussion group to serve as the primary discussion group for coronavirus COVID-19 in the equipment and event hire industry. This is your page to post questions, support each other and see how coronavirus is impacting your business and the industry. Please note this page will be monitored for inappropriate content. Be respectful to the group by being respectful to other members. No spam and no personal attacks.

Please note the forum sits on the Facebook platform itself. If you do not use Facebook, consider inviting someone to participate on your behalf.

As an organisation Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) has been constantly monitoring the evolving situation in relation to the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We understand and appreciate the effect this situation is having on many of our members, particularly those within the events and party hire segment of the industry.

We wanted to communicate to all of our events and party hire members what we are doing in an attempt to assist.

  • The HRIA has engaged with our legal partner Mason Sier Turnbull Lawyers (MST) to provide guidance / advice with regards to contract terms and conditions.
  • The HRIA is actively lobbying the Federal Government to have the Events sector specifically included in an additional round of economic stimulus / rescue packages. The Government has already set aside $1 billion specifically for Tourism, Education, and Agriculture.
  • The HRIA is actively working with related events industry associations / bodies to develop further effective strategies to aid this sector.

As new information and updates come to hand we will communicate these with you.

After a great deal of consideration over the last 72 hours and based on updated government advice, it has been decided that we have been left no choice but to cancel HIRE20 which was scheduled to be held 27-28 May 2020 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The wellbeing of our members is, and always has been our highest priority and each year we want to ensure that we are delivering the best possible event experience for all attendees and exhibitors. We also take the safety of all our attendees, exhibitors and staff very seriously.

Therefore, in the interest of public health and the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus, we have unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to cancel HIRE20.

Over recent weeks we have been working tirelessly with the Adelaide Convention Centre and our Conference organiser while monitoring advice provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and other relevant bodies to plan for a successful and safe event.

Gatherings of over 500 people have been prohibited by the Federal Government, and we have no indication at what point this will be lifted. We don’t know what action the South Australian Government will choose to take, but if they follow Victoria with announcing a State of Emergency resulting in the closure of the MCEC, we could be left without a venue.

We were until recently confident that we could achieve this and were working off external advice and government feedback. However, in the last 72 hours, the situation in Australia has changed significantly and we feel that the only course of action is to cancel the event.

Please visit this page for full information: https://www.hire20.com.au/notice

As an organisation, Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) is constantly monitoring the evolving situation in relation to the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We understand and appreciate the effect this situation is having on many of our members.

The HRIA along with the HIRE20 venue – the Adelaide Convention Centre are constantly monitoring, evaluating and following general advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Australian Department of Health and other authorities.

Drawing on current advice and information provided, HIRE20 in Adelaide will continue as scheduled, commencing May 27.

Further updates will be provided in due course.