Government relief packages under Covid-19

Big Businesses

The Australian economy relies upon businesses to keep it afloat. As such, the government has announced measures to support businesses with the aim to keep people in jobs and keep businesses afloat. The measures designed to help businesses during these tough are included the following:

  1. A $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain a business, create new jobs and retain employees;
  2. For businesses that have a payroll over $10 million, the payroll tax has been deferred for six months.
  3. For businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less, the payroll tax has been deferred for three months in addition to a three-month waiver already being provided;
  4. Deferral of gaming tax and lotteries tax for six months for clubs, pubs and hotels;
  5. Deferral of parking space levies for six months; and
  6. Deferral of rent for six months for commercial tenants in government-owned properties who have less than twenty employees.

Small Businesses

The NSW government has announced they will be injecting a further $750 million into the Small Business Support Fund as an additional measure to assist small businesses all of whom are doing it extremely tough in the current climate. Small Businesses who are not coping as a result of the Covid-19 shutdowns may be eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. The NSW Premier has guaranteed that the application process is to be easy and provide quick and urgent relief to businesses up until 1 June 2020.

To be eligible for this grant, you will need to demonstrate that your business:

  1. Employs between 1-9 employees with a turnover greater than $75,000;
  2. Has a payroll below the NSW Government threshold of $900,000;
  3. As at 1 March 2020 has an Australian Business Number, based in NSW and employs staff.
  4. Is highly impacted by the Public Health (Covid-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020;
  5. Will use the funding for unavoidable business costs including utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice; and
  6. Will have the appropriate evidence to support your application.


The NSW government has announced that they will be contributing a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 a fortnight per employee for up to six months. The subsidy aims to incentivise employers to retain their employees under these tight financial circumstances where most businesses are experiencing a sharp decline in turnover. This subsidy may also extend to those who have been stood down by their employers since 1 March 2020. Businesses who may be eligible for these subsidies are those that suffer a decrease in turnover by at least 30% for small businesses and 50% for big businesses.


The NSW government has also announced that they will be contributing $700 million additional funding for NSW Health. The purpose of this additional funding is to increase the capacity of our hospitals in the coming months to assist with the influx of Covid-19 cases, purchasing new equipment, creation of more respiratory and covid-19 testing clinics.


Social security

The Government has announced a one-off Economic Support Payment of $750 for all Australians receiving an eligible payment between 12 March 2020 – 13 April 2020. Eligible payments include the aged pension, disability support pension, and jobseeker payment amongst many others. This payment will not be taxed and will be transferred into your account automatically. The government has also announced an additional payment of $550 per fortnight for the next six months as a response to the Covid-19 response which is set to be paid to current and new recipients of payments including youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment and jobseeker payment.



The government has also enabled individuals affected by Covid-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020 and another $10,000 from 1 July 2020- 24 September 2021. This comes as financial pressures that some individuals experience today may require additional support more at present than in the future at retirement. Previously you could only apply to access your super early if you had compassionate grounds, were experiencing severe financial hardship, had a super balance less than $200, have a terminal medical condition, have a permanent incapacity or a temporary incapacity.

To access your superannuation early as a result of Covid-19 you must satisfy one or more of the following:

  1. Be unemployed; or
  2. Be eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  3. On or after 1 January 2020:
    1. Were made redundant; or
    2. Working hours have been reduced by 20% or more; or
    3. Your business was suspended or a reduction in turnover by 20% for sole traders.

No tax will need to be paid on any amounts released and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink payments.

Domestic violence

The government has announced that as part of their response to combatting the effects of Covid-19, they will be injecting $150,000,000 under the national domestic violence initiative increasing support for victims of domestic, family or sexual violence. This additional support is required to ensure services are accessible and well-equipped to support new and complex cases of domestic and family violence that is predicted.

What does this mean for me?

The above measures are indicative of exactly how severe the social, medical and financial implications of the Coronavirus. The government is taking proactive measures to try to keep our economy afloat so that we do not end up in a recession. All aspects of society must be examined and amended to adapt to the changing new “normal” that Australia will be enduring for the next six months.

If you have any queries on how these new changes may affect you or your company, call Pannu Lawyers on (02) 9920 1787 to speak to one of our experienced lawyers to see how we can assist you. Pannu Lawyers is here to help you during this difficult situation remotely via Skype or telephone conferences.

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