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Federal Government Initiatives

Other Federal Government Initiatives

Temporary Covid Disaster Payment

What is it?

A financial support package to help individuals affected by COVID-19 restrictions which last more than 7 days,

Amounts received are dependent on the situation.

For the first and second period of a restricted movement order:

Eligible recipients will receive $325 for each relevant period for losing less than 20 hours work per week and $500 for each relevant period for losing more than 20 hours of work per week.

For the third and later periods of a restricted movement order:

Eligible recipients will receive $375 for each relevant period for losing either between 8 and 20 hours of work per week, or a full day of usual work hours per week. Eligible recipients will receive $600 for each relevant period for losing more than 20 hours of work per week.

Who is eligible?

Individuals are eligible if they:

  • Are an Australian Resident or an eligible working visa holder
  • Are 17 years or older
  • Live in, work from or have visited a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot or a location subject to a state or territory restricted movement order.
  • Have had paid employment and due to being in the COVID-19 hotspot or being subject to restricted movement, are unable to attend work on or after day 8 of the lockdown
  • Have lost income on or after day 8 of the lockdown
  • Are unable to work and earn income as a result of a state or territory lockdown
  • Are located where the lockdown is for more than 7 days
  • Have liquid assets of $10,000 or less
  • Are not receiving income support payments, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
  • Are not receiving a state or territory pandemic payment, a state small business payment or the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment for the same period
  • Have used up other pandemic state based entitlements and all paid leave entitlements (other than annual leave)
  • Meet any rules for the COVID-19 health order that affected them. These rules depend on where you live, work or visited, and the date affected.

What do I do?

Eligible recipients can claim this payment using their Centrelink Online account through myGov

Links for further information

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Loan Guarantees

What is it?

  • Loan guarantees up to 50% for new unsecured loans of up to $250,000
  • Loan terms up to three years with an initial six month loan repayment holiday
  • These loans will be unsecured
  • Also providing exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to small business customers.
  • Phase 2 of the Scheme commenced on 1 October 2020 and will be available for loans made by participating lenders until 30 June 2021.

Who is eligible?

Businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million.

What do I do?

  • Talk to your current financial institution or other participating lenders. The Government is currently working with banks and other lenders to ensure loans are available as soon as possible.

Links for further information

SME Guarantee Scheme

Jobmaker Hiring Credit

What is it?

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will give businesses an incentive to take on additional young job seekers. This 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.

From 7 October, eligible employers will be able to claim $200 a week for each additional eligible employee they hire aged 16 to 29 years old; and $100 a week for each additional eligible employee ages 30 to 35 years old.

New jobs created until 6 October 2021 will attract the JobMaker Hiring Credit for up to 12 months from the date the new position is created.

Who is eligible?

  • The employer is eligible if they:
    • Have an ABN;
    • Are up to date with tax lodgement obligations;
    • Are registered for PAYG withholding;
    • Are reporting through Single Touch Payroll;
    • Meet the additional criteria;
    • Are claiming in respect of an eligible employee; and
    • Have kept adequate records of the paid hours worked by the employee for whom the hiring credit is claimed.
  • The employee is eligible if they:
    • Are aged between 16 and 35 years at the time their employment started;
    • Have worked, or have been paid for, at least 20 paid hours per week on average for the time the individual was employed during the JobMaker period;
    • Commenced their employment between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021;
    • Have received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (Other), or Parenting Payment for at least 28 consecutive days within the 84 days prior to the start of employment;
    • Are in their first year of employment with this employer; and
    • Are employed in the period that the employer is claiming for them

What do I do?

  • The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be claimed quarterly in arrears by the employer from the ATO from 1 February 2021. Employers will need to report information about their entitlement quarterly.
  • Registrations are open for eligible employers through ATO online services. Employers do not need to be registered at the time that they hire an employee in order to be eligible. Registration can occur at any time before the end of the claim period for which the employer claims the Hiring Credit.

Links for further information

JobMaker Hiring Credit Fact Sheet 

JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme


Working from Home Tax Deduction

What is it?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is increasing the deduction rate to allow people to claim 80 cents per hour for all their working from home running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses.

This method will be available from 1 March to 30 June 2021.

If you choose to use this shortcut method, all you need to do is keep a record of the hours you worked from home as evidence of your claim.

Multiple people living in the same house will each be able to claim at the new rate.

The requirement to have a dedicated work-from-home area has been removed.

The new arrangement does not prohibit people from making a working-from-home claim under existing arrangements, where you calculate your running expenses on a pro rata basis of actual expenses incurred.

Links for further information

Home Office Tax Deductions

Working from Home

NDIA Support

What is it?

The NDIA is introducing a number of changes to assist providers, including:

  • One-off advance payment for eligible registered providers, to be received automatically.
  • Temporary 10% increase for some supports effective 25 March 2020.
  • Providers are able to claim 100% of the agreed support price for a cancellation where the participant has given less than 10 business days’ notice.
  • Temporary personal protective equipment supports in restricted areas.

Who is eligible?

Registered NDIS providers. To be eligible for the one-off advance payment, registered providers must have received a payment in February 2020 and at least one other payment in December 2019 or January 2020.

Links for further information

NDIS COVID-19 Updates 

NDIS COVID-19 Providers

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

What is it?

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package from 6 April 2020 until 12 July 2020.

A Transition Package from 13 July 2020 until 27 September 2020 providing a 25% Transition Payment instead of JobKeeper payments, in addition to CCS payments.

A Recovery Package from 28 September 2020 to 31 January 2021, providing support to services in Victoria, as well as provisions to extend financial support to other regions in Australia if restrictions are put in place.

Services may also be eligible to receive the Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Relief Payment if they require a ‘top up’ in addition to the base relief payment. For more information refer to the DESE Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package – Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Relief Payment information sheet.

Who is eligible?

Early childhood education and care services.

What do I do, as a provider of early childhood education and care services in Victoria?

  • Review the eligibility criteria and ensure all conditions in the Grant Agreement are complied with, as per the Victoria Recovery Payment Guidelines
  • Stay open unless closed on public health advice or other health and safety reasons
  • Ensure families are not charged a fee that is higher than the fees charged in the reference fortnight for the service
  • Comply with all other provider obligations including National Quality Framework and other relevant conditions of approval under Family Assistance Law.
  • A 25% Recovery Payment will apply until 31 January 2021 for Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care and In Home Care
  • From late October, Vacation care only providers (and OSHC services providing vacation care) in Melbourne and regional Victoria will receive a 40% Recovery Payment to 31 January 2021.

When will payments be received?

Providers who accepted their offer by 19 October will receive payment in the week starting 26 October 2020. Otherwise, fortnightly payments will commence in the next available fortnightly pay run, with the first payment including a back-payment amount.


Are early childhood education and care providers in other Australian states eligible for the Recovery Package?
No, however if similar outbreaks to Victoria’s occur elsewhere across the country and restrictions come into force, financial support will be extended to the sector as needed.

Links for further information


Exhibiting Zoos and Aquariums Program

What is it?

This program provides funding to eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums whose revenue from tourism has been impacted by the travel and social distancing restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID19.

Who is eligible?

Austrade is working with the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and state and territory tourism organisations to identify businesses that will be eligible for this assistance. These businesses will be exhibiting animal attractions that are important at a national, state or regional level as they contribute to conservation and presentation of animals and drive interstate and international visitation. This program does not provide assistance to animal refuges and rescue organisations.

Eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums will have access to a grant that contributes towards up to six months of its animal welfare costs.

What do I do?

Eligible zoos and aquariums will be provided a link via email to the application form for payment 4 of the grant in early January 2021.

When will payments be received?

Applications for Payment 4 open 11 January 2021 and close 5 February 2021 and will be received within 10 days of entering into the grant agreement.

Links for further information

AusTrade Fact Sheet

AusTrade Information

Cultural and Creative Sector Support

What is it?

The Australia Government is providing support for organisations in the cultural and creative sector including:

  • Restart Investment to Sustain and Expend (RISE) Fund providing $75million in grants from 31 August 2020 until all funds are allocated or until 31 May 2021, whichever is sooner. Application close 31 March 2021.
  • $90million Show Starter Loan Scheme providing eligible Australian creative economy businesses loans of up to 50% of a total budget for an activity to support delivery of new arts and entertainment productions and events.
  • Arts Sustainability Fund providing $35million in grants from 31 August 2020 until all funds are allocated or until 31 May 2021, whichever is sooner.
  • Grants for Indigenous Art Centres and Indigenous Art Fairs that already receive funding through the IVAIS Program. Payments of up to $85,000 will be made to each IVAIS-funded Indigenous Art Centre and up to $70,000 made to each IVAIS-funded Indigenous Art Fair.
  • $10million contribution to the performing arts industry charity Support Act, to provide immediate crisis relief to artists, crew and music workers affected by COVID-19.
  • Live Music Australia program offering grants for small to medium sized venues that support original Australian live music, with funding available until 18 February 2021.

Links for further information

Arts – Government COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund


Aged Care Sector Assistance

What is it?

The Australian Government Department of Health has announced a number of funding initiatives for residential care and home providers including:

  • $78.3 million in temporary additional funding for residential care.
  • Temporary increases to the Residential and Home Care Viability Supplements and a number of Homeless Supplements for residential care providers to 28 February 2021.
  • Reimbursement of costs for managing direct impacts of COVID-19.
  • Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus
  • Aged Care Support Program reimbursing providers who are directly affected by COVD-19
  • Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 providing funding to eligible providers for extra costs resulting from supporting eligible workers during the pandemic.

What do I do?

The temporary additional funding and increase to supplements will be administered through an uplift to subsidies paid through the Aged Care Funding Instrument with effect from 1 March 2020.

CHSP providers must complete and submit an application form to access the in home provider funding.

Links for further information

Support Program 

Update to Residential and Home Care Subsidies

ATO Assistance

What is it?

The Australian Taxation Office has announced measures to assist the cash flow of Not for Profit organisations including, (subject to an application process):

  • Remittance of interest and penalties paid to the ATO after 23 January 2020.
  • Deferral of activity statement and PAYG payments for up to six months.
  • Low interest payment plans for on-going tax liabilities.
  • Allowing organisations on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to.
  • Amendments to ancillary fund guidelines to provide a credit for ancillary funds that make an eligible distribution to DGRs.
  • Tax-deductible donations available to Australian Disaster Relief Funds that are established for the relief of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These will be tax-deductible when made within two years from 18 March 2020.

Who is eligible?

Any not for profit organisation with tax obligations or amounts owing to the ATO.

What do I do?

  • Contact the ATO to discuss entering a low interest payment plan or payment deferrals (Not-for-profit infoline 1300 130 248 or the Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218).
  • Interest and penalties incurred after 23 January 2020 may be remitted by the ATO automatically.


Can I defer the due dates for tax payments that were due before 23 January 2020?

No you cannot defer due dates for tax payments that were already due before 23 January 2020. However you can request:

  • Remission of interest that has accrued on those debts from 23 January 2020
  • Low interest payment arrangement

Can I defer the due dates for tax payments that were due after 23 January 2020?

You can request a deferral of due dates for tax payments that were due after 23 January 2020 and which you have not yet been able to pay.

My organisation has been affected by COVID-19, if I get an ATO debt now, will interest and penalties be remitted?

Yes – the COVID-19 remission applies to interest and penalties that were incurred on or after 23 January 2020.

Links for further information

COVID-19 Payment Deferrals

COVID-19 Low Interest Payments

Amended Guidelines for Ancillary Funds

ASIC Assistance

What is it?

ASIC has provided relief for companies having difficulty holding Annual General Meetings:

  • Confirming it will take no action where companies do not hold their AGM within five months of the end of the financial year (from 31 December 2019 to 7 January 2021), but do so up to seven months after year end.
  • Supporting the holding of AGMs using appropriate technology.

ASIC is also granting temporary relief for directors of financially distressed companies regarding the directors’ duty to prevent insolvent trading related to eligible debt

Links for further information

ASIC Media Release 

Directors Duties 

ACNC Assistance

What is it?

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is providing:

  • Charities may request deferral of their Annual Information Statement lodgement, which is dependent on the Commissioner’s discretion.

The ACNC has also issued guidance:

  • On the holding of AGMs, encouraging organisations to consider their constitutional and regulatory requirements and plan now as to how the AGM may be held if face to face is not an option – no further relief offered at this stage. Note that the ACNC have included links to each state regulator, which details their compliance approach with regard to AGMs.
  • Regarding the need to be transparent as to fundraising monies received that can no longer be used for the purpose for which they were received.
  • That they will not investigate certain breaches of Governance Standards and the External Conduct Standards that occur from 25 March until 31 December 2020, unless these breaches are significant and harm public interest. These certain breaches include operating outside of the charity’s purposes, incurring debts such that the charity becomes insolvent, or being unable to obtain reporting from the charity’s overseas operations or partners.

Links for further information

Charity Operations and COVID-19

COVID-19 Declared a Disaster – ATO

Fair Work Australia

The Fair Work Ombudsman has provided information on their website to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus outbreak.

On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission made determinations varying 99 awards. The determinations inserted a temporary new schedule into these awards and apply from an employee’s first full pay period on or after 8 April 2020 until 30 June 2020. The schedule provides employees with:

  • 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave
  • Flexibility to take twice as much annual leave at half pay

Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions allowing for JobKeeper enabling stand down direction

JobKeeper Extension: ‘Legacy employers’

The Fair Work Act JobKeeper provisions have been extended for employers who are considered to be ‘legacy’ employers. Where employers meet the 10% decline in turnover test and obtain the required certificate, they will have access to modified flexibility measures.

Links for further information

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws

Award Flexibility during coronavirus

Unpaid Pandemic Leave in Awards

JobKeeper Extension: Legacy Employers

Economic Support Payment

What is it?

A one-off payment will be made to eligible individuals as an economic stimulus measure and to provide support to individuals on low incomes as a result of COVID-19. There are 2 more Economic Support Payments of $250, to be paid to eligible individuals in December 2020 and March 2021.

Who is eligible?

If you meet one of the following criteria the payment will be made automatically.

You are eligible if you receive one of the following payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Carer Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit A
  • Family Tax Benefit B
  • Double Orphan Pension.

You’ll also get the payment if you have one of the following concession cards:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Veteran Gold Card.

You’ll also get the payment if you receive one of the following Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments:

  • Veteran Service Pension
  • Veteran Income Support Supplement
  • Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments
  • War Widow(er) Pension.

What do I do?

The additional payment will be made automatically if you are eligible.

Links for further information

Economic Support Payment

Government Support

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

JobKeeper Payments


JobSeeker Payments


Federal Government Initiatives

Federal Government Initiatives

State Government Assistance

State Government Assistance

Local Government Assistance

Local Government Assistance

Help Available

Other Financial Assistance


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