The Coronavirus crisis is creating extreme uncertainty for hotels. We will continue to provide relevant information to members to assist in the management of what is a very unpredictable situation.
We are working closely with Government to obtain the most up-to-date advice. Because the situation is rapidly shifting, we have established this page to provide regular updates and advice as developments unfold.
For specific questions relating to your individual circumstances, please contact the AHA NSW.
Federal Wage Subsidy Package
The Prime Minister and Treasurer have announced a $130 billion wage subsidy “JobKeeper” Package.
Click here for an FAQ document with further information about the package.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This package is yet to be formalised and legislated through the Federal Parliament. There are a range of further scenarios not as yet contemplated or clarified by the Government. We are working to seek clarification in this regard.
To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:
- Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
- Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
- Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up at the discretion of the employer.
- Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
- Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.
Please note that payments will not be reimbursed from the ATO until the start of May 2020. This needs to be considered carefully in the context of businesses with a lack of cash flow during this period.
Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:
- their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or
- their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50 per cent relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month).
The employer must have been in an employment relationship with eligible employees as at 1 March 2020, and confirm that each eligible employee is currently engaged in order to receive JobKeeper Payments.
Self-employed individuals (businesses without employees) that meet the turnover tests that apply for businesses are eligible to apply for JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees are employees who:
- are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
- were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
- are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
- are at least 16 years of age;
- are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
- are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer.
If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.
Businesses with employees
Initially, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.
Eligible employers will need to identify eligible employees for JobKeeper Payments and must provide monthly updates to the ATO.
Participating employers will be required to ensure eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
Businesses without employees
Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.
Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.
People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.
Employer with employees on different wages
Adam owns a hotel with two employees. The business is still operating at this stage but Adam expects that turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent in in the coming months. The employees are:
- Anne, who is a permanent full-time employee on a salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax and who continues working for the business; and
- Nick, who is a permanent part-time employee on a salary of $1,000 per fortnight before tax and who continues working for the business.
Adam is eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for each employee, which would have the following benefits for the business and its employees:
- The business continues to pay Anne her full-time salary of $3,000 per fortnight before tax, and the business will receive $1,500 per fortnight from the JobKeeper Payment to subsidise the cost of Anne’s salary and will continue paying the superannuation guarantee on Anne’s income;
- The business continues to pay Nick his $1,000 per fortnight before tax salary and an additional $500 per fortnight before tax, totalling $1,500 per fortnight before tax.
- The business receives $1,500 per fortnight before tax from the JobKeeper Payment which will subsidise the cost of Nick’s salary. The business must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on the $1,000 per fortnight of wages that Nick is earning. The business has the option of choosing to pay superannuation on the additional $500 (before tax) paid to Nick under the JobKeeper Payment.
Adam can register his initial interest in the scheme from 30 March 2020, followed subsequently by an application to ATO with details about his eligible employees. In addition, Adam is required to advise his employees that he has nominated them as eligible employees to receive the payment. Adam will provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis and receive the payment monthly in arrears.
Employer with employees who have been stood down without pay
Sarah runs a hotel. Ordinarily, she employs three permanent employees, but the government trading restriction has required her to shut the business. As such she has been forced to stand down her three employees without pay.
Sarah’s turnover will decline by more than 30 per cent, so she is eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for each employee, and pass on $1,500 per fortnight before tax to each of her three employees for up to six months. Sarah will maintain the connection to her employees, and ideally be in a position to quickly resume her operations.
Sarah is required to advise her employees that she has nominated them as eligible employees to receive the payment. It is up to Sarah whether she wants to pay superannuation on the additional income paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.
If Sarah’s employees have already started receiving income support payments like the JobSeeker Payment when they receive the JobKeeper Payment, they will need to advise Services Australia of their new income.
REGISTRATION AND FURTHER INFORMATION
We will update members as further information comes to hand.
In the meantime, please ensure you go to the Australian Taxation Office website to register your interest and receive updates from the ATO.
Financial Support Information
The Federal Government released a second stimulus support package to help with the effects of coronavirus on the economy. Some of the updates are:
- PAYG Withholding credits for businesses with employees has increased to $20,000 minimum – $100,000 maximum.
The rebate is based upon 100% of PAYG Withholding for the period 1 January – 30 June 2020 to a maximum of $50,000. If you are entitled to the maximum $50,000 in PAYGW credits for the period 1 Jan 2020- 30 June 2020, you will receive an additional $50,000 in credits over the period 1 July 2020-31 October 2020. This is for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50m.
- The threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand for payment of amounts outstanding will increase from $2000 – $20,000. This measure will be in place for 6 months. The period of time that the debtor has to respond will increase from 21 days to 6 months for a period of 6 months.
- Instant asset write off – increased from $30,000 to $150,000 from 12 March 2020 – 30 June 2020.
- Assets over $150,000 eligible for 50% instant write off and the balance deductible at normal rates in the same year – this second measure is from 12 March 2020 – 30 June 2021.
- 50% subsidy for apprentice or trainees wage (up to $21,000) for the period 1 January 2020 – 30 September 2020 for businesses with up to 20 full-time employees
Supporting the flow of credit
- The Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. SME’s with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:
o Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
o The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday.
o The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.
- JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit doubled from $550 per fortnight to $1100 per fortnight
- 2 x $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020.
- The Government is allowing eligible individuals who are affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Eligible individuals will need to apply directly to the ATO for access to this payment. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
- The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees holding these products by reducing the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdown requirements.
- Reducing Social Security Deeming Rates
For more information – https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus
Local Government Support
Various Local Governments across New South Wales have offered support to the business community in light of the ongoing crisis. To check what support may be available from your local Council, please follow the links below.
Key Industry Partners
We are continuing to work closely with our key industry supporters to encourage all possible relief measures to be made available to members on a timely basis.
To assist members, please see messages below of the commitments made by key industry partners to date. This will be updated as more information becomes available.
A message from Lion
We acknowledge this is an extremely distressing time for everyone involved in the hospitality industry. At Lion, we are doing everything we can to work quickly and provide our valued on-premise customers with the support they need right now.
Following the Government’s announcement that pubs and clubs will close from midday today, Monday 23 March 2020, we are now in the process of working through options to assist our customers who are affected by this new closure order.
Lion will take back unused kegs and offer customers a credit. For safety reasons these kegs must be full and capped.
To process a full keg pick-up and credit request, customers can email Lion Connect on [email protected] with the keg quantity, best before date, keg number/s and venue account number.
It may take some time for us to come to your venue to collect these kegs, so we ask for your patience as we contact all impacted customers over the coming days and weeks to make the necessary arrangements.
Please click here for an outline on further support and solutions from Lion including instructions on the safe shutdown of your draught beer system, advertising and social media campaigns and social distancing signage.
– Mark Powell, National Sales Director
A message from CUB
Carlton & United Breweries is committed to working with you at this critical time for your business.
CUB will provide customers with credits on full kegs that have been purchased from CUB. Credits will be net of logistics costs, which will be minimal. Each full keg must have sealed brand caps. The credits will be issued upon return of the kegs. We will provide you with details next week of how to register your kegs, including the information we need from you.
We will work to get collections done as soon as possible, but due to significant logistics constraints around Australia, and the anticipated high volume of requests, it may take some time to pick up the kegs. We will work with you on this.
CUB will also provide credits for any tank beer you have.
We are committed to working with you to rebuild the on-premise trade and you can count on our ongoing support and partnership.
CUB, in partnership with AHA Australia, wants to help our industry through the For the Love of Your Local initiative. To register and for more information visit:
If you have any questions, please contact CUB sales representative
A message from Tabcorp
We are experiencing unprecedented times as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Tabcorp has been working to provide its industry partners and your members with an update following various announcements from the Prime Minister regarding the closure of licensed venues. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we have a well-considered and aligned approach as to the next steps.
We’ve been working through this and many other inter-related issues in response to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Following extensive engagement with my team and the NSW Government, Tabcorp can advise the following:
- Relevant fees under our SKY, TAB, Keno and MAX contractual arrangements will be payable by licensed venues up to the close of business on 22 March 2020. This is, of course, the day prior to the first government shut down order.
- All payment obligations for the following month will be suspended in light of the government ordered shutdown, and Tabcorp’s obligations under those contractual arrangements will also be suspended during this period.
- We will continue to review the position in respect of each subsequent month taking into account further developments, such as additional government directions.
- Where applicable, alternative arrangements will be agreed with venues, such as extensions of long-term fixed contracts equivalent to the cumulative period of the payment suspension.
In order to support industry through this difficult period, the interim measures described above are being implemented despite the terms of relevant venue contracts
We anticipate that the shutdown may last several months, but we recognise the position is fluid hence we will be reviewing the circumstances each month to allow for maximum flexibility (as set out above). Our teams will be contacting impacted venues with details of the specific commercial arrangements that will apply for each relevant business.
We would also like to note Tabcorp’s appreciation for the support packages announced by governments and the banking industry. We are particularly grateful for the NSW Government’s decision to defer gaming, payroll and lotteries taxes, which will deliver critical support for local pubs and community clubs across the state and help keep people in jobs across the industry.
We very much value our partnership and we are committed to keeping you informed and actively engaged as this situation evolves.
We welcome your support and commitment to working together throughout this challenging period for our people, our customers and the community at large.
7th April update: click HERE
A message from Aristocrat
Ongoing Payments – Given your venue is closed due to a government directive, Aristocrat will be deferring all invoicing and open payments due in the month of April relating to your Access and Type 4 contracts for a 30 day period, after which Aristocrat will again review on the 30th Day of each month, the position to ascertain the current state of events.
Payments – Aristocrat will be suspending invoicing and direct debit payments for a period of 30 days from 23/3/2020, and you will not be charged any maintenance, support or software fees for services or systems during such period. We will review the position, taking into account further developments at the 30th day of each month.
Services – Our team remains available to support any maintenance, installs and/or servicing initiatives that you might have during the period of temporary closure. We assume you will not be requiring any such support while the government restrictions are in place, but please let us know if in fact you will require any support during this period, and we can discuss your requirements and standard contract fees that would apply.
Planning Measures – We have put in place a number of planning measures so that, when you are ready to re-open, our teams can support you through this difficult time. In the interim, should you have any queries around current machine orders, spare parts/warranty repairs, our team is available to assist (within the limits of the applicable government and health directives) so please contact your Aristocrat account manager.
A message from St George Bank
To our customers and clients,
St George Bank has a long history supporting the hotel industry and we are here to support our customers and the industry through these unprecedented times. That’s why we are contacting every client individually around their own personal circumstances as we know that no two pubs are the same and all businesses have different needs.
There have been a lot of announcements around support measures from state and Federal Government as well as from the banking sector in response to the developing COVID-19 situation. Our St.George Bank chief economist, Besa Deda has released a comprehensive report ‘A Wrap of Recent Stimulus Measures – Federal Government, Reserve Bank & State Governments’ which provides clarity on the collective stimulus measures to soften the impact of COVID-19. A useful read at a time when there is a lot of information to absorb.
Besa is also hosting a series of short weekly teleconferences to cover the latest in economic data, market movements, government policy and industry responses. Please find attached your invitation to register your interest in attending this call.
6th April: Click HERE to hear Besa talk about the latest on COVID-19 and her thoughts on the economic outlook and financial markets.
St George has also introduced a range of support measures to help ease the financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 situation. More information can be found at stgeorge.com.au/covid19
We will continue to communicate regularly with you to provide updates in this rapidly changing environment.
Barry Van De Water
A message from Asahi Premium Beverages
All of us at Asahi Premium Beverages are deeply troubled and saddened by the effect COVID-19 has had on our communities, our way of life and how this has had a particularly devastating impact on our beloved hospitality industry. At APB, we can only begin to imagine the stress and anxiety this situation has caused you and your teams and of course your families. It’s times like these we need to ensure we support each other and look with hope to a brighter future when life returns to some sort of normality and we can once again enjoy the amazing hospitality you have to offer the people of Australia. In light of the Government’s announcement on Monday to close hospitality venues, I write to reassure you that we at APB are here to support you in these difficult times. APB will accept return of all full, unopened kegs and unopened BIBs, and will credit these to your account. To process your returns, please contact your local Area Sales Manager with the product quantity, best before date, and your customer account number. We are currently working with our logistics partners as to how we manage the collection process and we will be in touch with further details soon. We appreciate your patience in what are unprecedented times but, rest assured, we promise you will receive the full credit for returned products.
A message from Foxtel Business
We understand that these are challenging conditions for the industry and want you to know that Foxtel Business is working closely with the various hotel associations, club and industry bodies nationally to meet the outcomes and needs of your business in these uncertain times.
We are eager to work with our loyal customers to ensure we’re meeting the needs of your business in the current climate. As a result, we will be providing you with a suspension on all charges to your April subscription invoice as a first step.
We will be monitoring the situation on a month by month basis and as the government trading restrictions are updated. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding your account then please let us know by emailing us at [email protected] and a member of our team will assist you.
We value your custom at this challenging time and are taking these steps in a bid to ease your financial burden during the uncertain days ahead.
A message from One Music
We are suspending any debt collection on any outstanding fees. Once the venues reopen we will adjust their past licence fees to reflect the period of closure.
Several important changes have been made to assist you and your business during this time:
- If you have suspended trade, your account will be placed on hold until you resume trade – licence adjustments will also be made retrospectively to reflect any period our music was not used.
- If you continue to trade but there have been changes to your music use we can amend your licence to reflect this now.
- We are open to discussing flexible credit arrangements.
- We can issue a licence for online events that use our music.
Despite our offices being closed, our staff are on hand to assist you. You can contact us on email [email protected] or jump on live chat (between 9am-7pm).
A message from Coca-Cola Amatil
At Coca-Cola Amatil, our teams are working around the clock to ensure we can continue to support our customers, whilst keeping our people safe and continuing to produce our beverages.
You have the option of returning and receiving a credit on any Canadian Club Draught, and our Beer or Cider Brand Kegs purchased from us in 2020.
Please note: We will only accept a return and provide a credit for full and capped kegs (this is for safety reasons). Tapped kegs cannot be returned.
To process a keg pickup and credit please call our National Sales Centre on 1300 666 835 (toll free), please have your customer number ready. You will need to provide us with the quantity of stock by product that meets the above criteria for return. Our consultant will then arrange for a pickup of this stock, however please note this may take a couple of weeks depending on your location. We will do our best to respond as quickly as we can.
Postmix BIB Returns
You have the option of returning and receiving a credit on any Postmix (BIB) purchased from us in 2020
Please note: We will only accept a return and provide a credit for unopened, unused Postmix (BIB) product that has a best before date of April 1, 2020 or later. Any product that is open, currently connected or has a best before date prior to April 1, 2020 cannot be returned.
To process a Postmix BIB pickup and credit please call our National Sales Centre on 1300 666 835 (toll free), please have your customer number ready. You will need to provide us with the quantity of stock by product that meets the above criteria for return. Our consultant will then arrange for a pickup of this stock, however please note this may take a couple of weeks depending on your location. We will do our best to respond as quickly as we can.
If we can be of further assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact your Business Development Executive or Key Account Manager.
A message from IGT
These are extraordinary times, and we understand that the hospitality industry has been impacted harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than just about any other.
We think it’s vitally important to work together in these challenging times to ensure we all come out stronger on the other side.
IGT is therefore taking the following steps:
- Systems Fees: We are suspending payment of our pub customers’ monthly fees for system development, maintenance and support. This is effective from 23 March 2020 for a period of 30 days. This means that you will not pay any such systems fees for this period as these will be waived in full.
- Field services and systems hardware maintenance services: We will be temporarily reconfiguring our regular field service, installation, maintenance offerings, and systems hardware maintenance services, for our pub customers with effect from 23 March 2020 for a period of 30 days. As part of our ongoing partnership, field service and or systems hardware maintenance fees will not be payable for the next 30 days (commencing Mar 23, 2020) as services will not be provided during this time, however should you decide to specifically arrange and book a service callout with us, our standard service call-out rates will apply.
As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will evaluate each of the positions set out above on 30 April 2020 and on a monthly basis thereafter.
We will keep you updated on the outcome of these assessments.
Andrew Neagle, Commercial Gaming Director
A message from Engie – Simply Energy
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting businesses across the country and around the world. We understand that these are difficult times for everyone, causing widespread disruptions to industry, employment and our daily routines.
As the situation progresses, we are working closely with the AHA to co-ordinate assistance and support for AHA members participating in the PPA. We are committed to our partnership with the AHA and you, the member, to get through this challenging period for the hotel industry, together.
Please see information HERE on how we can help you and your business.
Industry Supplier Support
We are continuing to work closely with industry suppliers to encourage all possible relief measures to be made available to members on a timely basis. To assist members, we have prepared the attached document which summarises our understanding of the support and commitments made by industry suppliers to date. This will be updated as more information becomes available.
COVID-19 What’s covered – What Do I do with my insurance?
A message from HEM
After the Coronavirus stage 2 shutdown which took effect from Monday, your hotel’s wages will be significantly reduced; subject to your decision to continue to pay some employees or operate bottle shops, take away food or accommodation.
If a member (whose workers compensation insurance is with HEM) has any outstanding instalments due for their current workers compensation premiums due for policies ending on the 30th June 2020 or 31st December 2020 you are able to re estimate your anticipated wages for the year ending on either of those dates. Please call Jay Mitchell on (02) 4032 2455 to advise your reduced wages or to obtain a Declaration.
The reduced wages may extinguish any liability currently due, however if a debt is still outstanding and you need assistance please contact HEM on the above number.
Effect of JobKeeper Wage Subsidy on workers with Workers Compensation claims
As present, there is no information specified by the government regarding payment to those workers on workers compensation however Hospitality Employers Mutual anticipates applying the following criteria subject to confirmation by SIRA (and any further criteria assessed by the ATO in the eligibility process);
- For injured workers with claims who may have been working and earning on suitable duties as at 1 March 2020, our position is that the JobKeeper payments can replace the Worker’s Earnings (“E”) component in the weekly payment formula. It is likely that this will be backdated as far back as 1 March 2020, however commencement will likely align with when the employee was stood down from the duties and would continue for the stand-down period (up to 6 months).
- Workers currently with no current capacity to work could also be re-engaged (if terminated), and Job-Keeper payments claimed / commenced when the worker is upgraded with a capacity to RTW.
- These JobKeeper payments will not be included as part of the cost of the claim for the purpose of determining a premium.
- As noted above, stood down employees are eligible and employees terminated since 1 March 2020 will need to be re-engaged to be eligible.
We are applying these principles to benefit both the worker and the employer as we strongly support the retention of injured workers in employment for the long term benefit to all parties once this crisis is past.
Effect on Workers Compensation Premium calculation
We do not anticipate including the JobKeeper payment as part of declarable wages for the purpose of premium calculation for those not performing their normal duties.
For employees continuing to perform their duties, the JobKeeper component should be included in the wages declared for the purpose of premium calculation.
Practical Application of these principles
We will be progressively contacting employers that have workers on workers compensation to explain further details however you will appreciate that this is a fluid situation and there may be delays and changes as SIRA may ultimately require a different approach. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact either your account manager or [email protected]
A message from Steadfast IRS
Loss of income cover
The underwriters who provide insurance to the Hospitality Industry that we work with do not cover loss of income due to quarantinable disease, pandemic & epidemic, as the policy holder you are always welcomed to lodge a claim and your broker will be able to manage this for you.
It is important we note the Industrial Special Risks Insurance is to cover the building, damage caused to the building and loss of income as a result of property damage.
What’s next and what do I do with my insurance?
We have had multiple enquiries requesting to cancel policies or reduce sums insureds. We want to stress the importance of not reducing your sums insureds, or cancelling your policy.
Cover remains in place for damage to the property caused by Storm, Fire, Malicious Damage and Theft under your ISR insurance.
Network Steadfast are working with multiple insurers and gathering options on what premium relief may be available. As we become aware of viable options we will contact our clients to provide these details.
If you have any queries we recommend the best course of action is to contact your broker.
m 0455 400 224
e [email protected]
Hospitality Venue Shutdown
STAND DOWN OF EMPLOYEES
WHAT IS A STAND DOWN OF EMPLOYEES & DOES THE GOVERNMENTS SHUTDOWN TRIGGER THE STAND DOWN PROVISIONS?
A stand down of full-time and part-time employees can arise where there is stoppage of work for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for AND the employees cannot otherwise be usefully employed.
The shutdown of hospitality venues by the Government represents a stoppage of work for which the employer cannot reasonably be held responsible for.
Provided that the employees cannot be usefully employed, it is the Association’s view that the Government’s shutdown of hospitality venues triggers the operation of the stand down of employee/s provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009.
A period of stand down will count as service, including towards the minimum period of employment.
Importantly, the standing down of employees should be the last option and only where the employee cannot be usefully employed. The Australian Hotels Association and the United Workers Union sought changes to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 which may provide alternative options for employers.
WHAT IF AN ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT OR EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT SAYS DIFFERENTLY?
Enterprise Agreements or employment contracts may provide for alternative stand down provisions. If this applies to your circumstances, you must refer to, and apply, the stand down provisions in the Enterprise Agreement or contract.
CAN I STAND DOWN CASUAL EMPLOYEES?
No, casual employees are not stood down. Consistent with the nature of causal employment, casual employees should be advised that there is no further work for them at this time.
CAN A STAND DOWN APPLY IF PART OF THE BUSINESS IS STILL OPERATING ACCOMMODATION OR TAKEAWAY/DELIVERY SERVICES?
Yes. A stoppage of work triggering a stand down can apply to a part or parts of a business which have been shut down, even if another part of the business continues to operate. A stand down can also be applicable to certain employees within those parts of the business still operating with reduced capacity, because those employee’s cannot be usefully employed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A STAND DOWN OF EMPLOYEES?
During a stand down the employees do not attend work and the employer is not required to make payments to employees for the period of the stand down.
HOW LONG CAN A STAND DOWN PERIOD LAST?
There are no time limits specified in the Fair Work Act 2009. The duration of any stand down period will be referable to the stoppage of work and whether or not the employees can be usefully employed. For example, while a business may close for 8 weeks, it may be able to usefully employ some or all of the employees after 7 weeks in order to set-up or prepare for re-opening.
However, the current Government shutdown of hospitality venues in response to the Coronavirus COVIS-19 Pandemic is likely to result in many venues closing and implementing a stand down of employees for an indefinite period of time.
DO I NEED TO INFORM MY EMPLOYEES IN WRITING?
An employer introducing a stand down will be a distressing and confusing period for many employees. Therefore, it is recommended that written notification is provided.
DO I NEED TO KEEP MY EMPLOYEES UPDATED?
As stated above, a stand down will be a distressing and confusing period for employees. It is recommended that you maintain regular communication and updates with your employees.
IS A STAND DOWN THE SAME AS A TERMINATION?
No, they are different concepts. During a stand down, an employee remains employed.
DO I NEED TO GIVE STOOD DOWN EMPLOYEES A SEPERATION CERTIFICATE?
No, because a stand down is not a termination, an employee who is stood down should be given a stand down letter. A separation certificate is only given to an employee when their employment is terminated.
If providing a separation certificate during a stand down, an employee may later claim to seek that their employment was terminated unfairly. This leaves an employer open to a claim of Unfair Dismissal with the Fair Work Commission.
AN APPRENTICE WHO HAS BEEN STOOD DOWN CAN STILL ATTEND CLASSES AS PART OF THE APPRENTICESHIP. DO I HAVE TO PAY THEM?
Yes. Normal payment arrangements will apply in this situation. Please note that when the apprentice is at class (which could be conducted on-line) they are working – as per their employment and training contracts.
Therefore, the employee will need to be advised that for attendance at a class, they are not on a period of stand down, and that when the class finishes, the stand down is reinstated.
If you are considering suspending training obligations under the apprentice training contract, you should contact the relevant apprenticeship or training authority.
CAN AN EMPLOYERS’S DECISION TO STAND DOWN EMPLOYEES BE CHALLENGED?
Yes. An employee, a union or Fair Work Inspector can file a stand down dispute in the Fair Work Commission. If you receive a stand down dispute notification please contact us immediately.
OUR HOTEL HAS BEEN SELECTED TO QUARANTINE PERSONS ARRIVING FROM OVERSEAS FOR 14 DAYS. CAN I RECALL EMPLOYEES FROM STAND DOWN?
Yes. Furthermore, at the end of that quarantine period, if the circumstances warrant it, you may stand down those employees again.
INTERACTION OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND LEAVE DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN AND/OR BUSINESS SHUT DOWN
DOES ANNUAL LEAVE AND PERSONAL LEAVE ACCRUE DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
Yes, the period of stand down is considered service for the purposes of the Fair Work Act 2009. Therefore annual leave and personal will accrue as normal.
DOES LONG SERVICE LEAVE ACCRUE DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
That depends on the State or Territory jurisdiction. In New South Wales, long service leave does not accrue during a period of stand down.
CAN AN EMPLOYEE TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE OR LONG SERVICE LEAVE DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
Yes. If an employer agrees to an employee’s request to take annual leave or long service leave, the employee will not be considered stood down and all the usual rules and payments relating to the particular leave will apply, including payment for public holidays falling during the period of annual leave or long service leave, and the payment of annual leave loading.
If you do approve a period of leave, and if at the end of the approved period of leave, the stoppage of work still exists AND the employee cannot be usefully employed, you can then stand down the employee.
An employee already on a period of approved (paid or unpaid) leave at that time of stand down is taken not to be stood down until that leave period ends.
The Fair Work Commission has approved a range of changes to the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 relating to annual leave, including allowing annual leave to be taken for twice as long at half pay – CLICK HERE
CAN I REFUSE AN EMPLOYEE’S REQUEST TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE OR LONG SERVICE LEAVE DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
Yes. An employer can refuse an employee’s request to annual leave or long service leave, provided the refusal is reasonable.
An example of a reasonable refusal would include no capacity to pay the leave during the current trading restrictions arising out of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic.
IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO PAID SICK LEAVE OR CARERS LEAVE (PERSONAL LEAVE) DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
No, in our view an employee is not entitled to receive payments for personal leave during a lawful period of stand down.
However, an employee already on a period of personal leave (paid or unpaid) leave at that time of stand down is taken not to be stood down until that leave period ends.
The stand down provisions, and in particular their interaction with personal leave, are yet to be tested before a court. While we consider the views we have provided are correct, it is noted that provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 are not free from doubt.
IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO BE PAID FOR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS FALLING DURING A PERIOD OF STAND DOWN?
No, in our view an employee is not entitled to receive payments for public holidays falling during a lawful period of stand down.
The stand down provisions, and in particular their interaction with public holidays, are yet to be tested before a court. While we consider the views we have provided are correct, it is noted that provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 are not free from doubt.
CAN AN EMPLOYEE TAKE A PERIOD OF PARENTAL LEAVE?
Yes, a period of parental leave will generally operate as normal. An employee taking a period of unpaid parental leave will not be considered to be stood down. It is important to note that unpaid parental leave will not count as service, but will not break an employee’s continuous service.
STAND DOWN PROVISIONS – GENERALLY
The stand down provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 are yet to be tested before a court. While we consider the views we have provided are correct, it is noted that provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 are not free from doubt.
ARE THERE ANY EMPLOYEE SUPPORT MEASURES IN PLACE?
The following Government agencies and organisations can assist employees:
- Services Australia – https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19;
- National Coronavirus COVID-19 Helpline – 1800 020 080;
- Lifeline – 13 11 14;
- Kids/Young Adults (5-25 years) Helpline – 1800 55 1800.
ARE THERE ANY EMPLOYER/BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES IN PLACE
The Government has announced a range of employer and business support packages, which can be accessed here:
The following information and tools are available at our online member portal:
- Employer Guide;
- Template letter for stand down of full-time and part-time employees;
- Template letter for casual employees.
If you require further advice or information, please contact the AHA NSW Legal and Industrial Affairs Team on (02) 8218 1855 or send an email to [email protected]
Landlord/Tenant Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct
The National Cabinet have formally agreed that states and territories will implement the attached mandatory Code of Conduct in respect to certain commercial leasing arrangements. This will occur in NSW by way of the introduction of legislation or regulation (to be confirmed).
The purpose of the Code is to impose a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies (including hotels) between owners/operators/other landlords and tenants, subject to the tenant meeting the criteria of a “small/medium sized business” (being a business with an annual turnover of up to $50 million and also that is an eligible business for the purpose of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper programme).
Central to the Code is the principle of proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants. Appendix I of the attached Code provides practical examples of the application of the principle of proportionality.
As part of this announcement National Cabinet again noted that it expects Australian and foreign banks along with other financial institutions, to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility as they work to implement the mandatory Code.
The Code provides that, where landlords and tenants cannot reach agreement on leasing arrangements (as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic), a state-based binding mediation process will be made available to the parties to the dispute (further NSW specific details to follow with the applicable legislation/regulation).
We will provide members with a further update once the code is formally enacted in NSW.
A comprehensive “COVID-19 Employer Guide” is available here.
This resource provides members with guidance around managing the workplace in the face of the outbreak, including general employer obligations around staff leave entitlements, changing or scaling down operations and business shut down.
Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 Amendments
The Fair Work Commission has varied the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 (HIGA) to provide further flexibility as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Link to Determination).
The variation takes effect from the first pay period commencing on or after 24 March 2020.
CLASSIFICATIONS AND DUTIES
- As directed by their employer, where necessary employees will perform any duties that are within their skill and competency regardless of their classification, provided that the duties are safe and the employee is licensed and qualified to perform
- The higher duties clause will continue to apply if a lower grade employee performs higher duties.
DIRECTIONS TO WORK REDUCED HOURS: FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME EMPLOYEES
- An employer can direct a full-time or part-time employee to work reduced hours of between 60% and 100% of their ordinary/guaranteed hours subject to:
- Consulting with the affected employee/s (see clause 8A);
- If the affected employee/s is a member of the United Workers Union – notifying the UWU of your intention to do so (a template notification is attached).
- Annual leave, personal leave and other applicable accruals under the HIGA will continue to accrue at 100% of the employee’s ordinary hours.
- Further, any approved annual leave or personal leave taken during a reduced hours period is to be paid at 100% of ordinary/guaranteed hours.
- There are two key changes to annual leave:
- The notice periods relevant to directions to take annual leave under the HIGA have been reduced to 24 hours, subject to the employer taking into account the employee’s personal circumstances;
- By agreement, an employee can take twice as much annual leave at half the rate of pay for all or part of any period of annual
UNITED WORKERS UNION
TEMPLATE NOTIFICATION DOCUMENT
By email: [email protected]
Attn: United Workers Union
Notification to implement temporary changes under Schedule L of the Hospitality Award
The [NAME OF EMPLOYER] intends to implement changes under Schedule L of the Hospitality Award.
Consultation with employees
We are in the process of consulting with our employees in relation to these changes, in accordance with the Award, including by:
- Providing to employees information about the proposed change (including the nature of the change and when it is to begin);
- Inviting employees to give their views about the impact of the proposed change on them (including any impact on their family or caring responsibilities).
Establishments / sites affected
These changes will be implemented at the following work locations:
- [List relevant work locations]
There are X full time employees who will receive a reduction of up to 15.2 hours.
There are X part time employees who will receive a reduction of up to 40% of their guaranteed hours.
If you have any views about these changes, please contact [XX].
Managing Overseas Workers
There have been some recent updates by the Australian Government regarding support entitlements for Temporary Visa Holders currently in Australia.
We have created a new fact sheet which covers:
- What has been announced for Temporary Visa Holders?
- Visitor Visa Holders
- International Students
- Working Holiday & Work and Holiday Visa Holders
- Graduate Visa Holders, Trainee Visa Holders and other Special Purpose
- Temporary Skilled Visa Holders (457/482)
- New Zealanders on 444 Visas
- Bridging Visas
- Assistance in Returning to your Home Country
Visa holders in Australia
The below advice was taken from the Department of Home Affairs website.
You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. You may be eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application. See what you need to do to stay longer.
No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)
This means you can’t apply for most other visas until you leave Australia. If your visa has less than 2 months validity remaining you can request to waive this condition. The Department will advise you of the outcome of your request. If your request is approved, you can make a new visa application.
Condition 8558 (Non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period)
You will need to apply for a new visa Explore your visa options.
If your visa has expired, you need to apply for Bridging E visa (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful.
Complying with visa conditions
Can’t provide additional information due to office closure (Health or Police clearances, Biometrics, English Language Testing)
You will be given additional time to complete checks and provide requested information.
Can’t return to Australia before my visa expires and want to return
You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.
Can’t complete Australian Study Requirement or periods of stay under the regional initiatives for Temporary graduate visa holders
The Department is looking at concessions on a case-by-case basis.
Processing visa applications
Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19.
The Department is aware of issues for certain visa holders overseas accessing the VEVO system. If you can’t use VEVO to check your visa status and conditions, you can still access your visa grant letter and visa conditions online using your ImmiAccount.
The Department will notify you in writing if your visa has been cancelled in response to the temporary travel restrictions. This will include information on how to seek revocation of the visa cancellation.
Employee Entitlements and Benefits
Members have reported feedback from employees seeking income support via Centrelink who are unclear if their employment has been stood down or terminated as a result of the coronavirus covid-19, whether they can apply for income support from the federal government.
To clarify, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.
Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus.
People will not be permitted, and will need to declare that they are not, accessing employer entitlements (such as annual leave and/or sick leave) or Income Protection Insurance, at the same time as receiving Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker under these arrangements. Income testing will still apply, but the asset testing and one week waiting period will be waived.
Special Payments for Specified Sub Class Visa Holders can gain Special Consideration Benefits (Partner Visa holders)
SpB is a discretionary income support payment that provides financial assistance to people who, due to reasons beyond their control, are in financial hardship and unable to earn a sufficient livelihood for themselves and their dependants.
To receive SpB, it must be established that the person is not eligible for any other pension or allowance. The circumstances under which it is granted and the amount paid are determined by a delegate of the Secretary of the Department.
For further information visit https://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/3/7/1
Amendments To NSW Long Service Leave Act
The New South Wales Government has amended the Long Service Leave Act to provide greater flexibility for employees and employers to facilitate the taking of Long Service Leave (LSL) during this restricted trade period.
The key changes are:
- An employer and an employee (with at least 5 years’ service) can agree to take LSL in advance;
- An employer and employee can agree to take LSL in shorter blocks or periods (e.g. 1 day at a time);
For example, an employer and employee may agree that the employee works 2 days and takes 3 three days LSL per week.
It is recommended that any agreement to take LSL in advance is recorded in writing. An exchange of email correspondence would be sufficient in the current circumstances.
AUSTRAC Reporting Obligations
The COVID-19 global pandemic is impacting all Australians and Australian businesses. AUSTRAC acknowledges that this is an unprecedented and uncertain time for you and your members.
We understand the importance of supporting reporting entities during this time, while ensuring that we continue to fight financial crime.
Update on Compliance Report 2019
The Compliance Report 2019 is due to be submitted to AUSTRAC today, 31 March 2020. Due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that your members may be unable to submit their report on time. We will assist them through these circumstances by accepting 2019 compliance reports until 30 June 2020, without risk of compliance action.
We know that some small to medium businesses have been restricted from opening due to COVID-19 social distancing measures announced by the government. We ask for your assistance to advise your members that for these affected businesses we will not take any compliance action if they are unable to submit their report.
Update on customer verification obligations for superannuation funds
AUSTRAC will work with superannuation funds to facilitate a streamlined process that will allow payments to be made under the Early Release of Superannuation Initiative so that they can provide funds to people experiencing financial hardship promptly.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic AUSTRAC will introduce a Rule under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
This Rule will ensure that superannuation funds making payments to their members under this initiative, where the payment is approved by the ATO and processed through myGov and ATO online services, will not have to conduct additional customer verification under the AML/CTF regime. Read more.
Complying with KYC requirements
As the AML/CTF regulator, AUSTRAC will work constructively with reporting entities as they manage their money laundering and terrorism financing risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes considering reporting entities’ circumstances when applying the AML/CTF laws.
Alternative processes to verify customer identity
While many reporting entities rely on electronic verification, others use face-to-face or documentation based procedures to verify customer identity. As Australia responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise that some ‘know your customer’ processes cannot be used.
The AML/CTF Rules support flexible KYC processes and procedures to verify your customers’ identity and fulfil your KYC requirements.
For detailed guidance and examples of how flexible KYC processes can be applied, please direct your members to the AUSTRAC website.
We will continue to provide updates about how we will support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic on the AUSTRAC website.
Training and Education
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering a number of fully subsidised short courses that can be completed in just days or weeks, offering practical skills and experiences across a range of industries.
Programs include business, computer and digital marketing and can be accessed here
Trading While Insolvent
Update on the duty of directors to prevent insolvent trading
Last week we updated members on pre-existing “safe harbour” laws which could have assisted members with setting up a defence to a possible future insolvent trading claim.
Government has now introduced new “safe harbour” provisions, which will apply for 6 months from the commencement date (TBA) in respect of debts incurred in the “ordinary course of the company’s business”.
A company will be taken to incur a debt in the ordinary course of business if it is necessary to facilitate the continuation of the business during the relevant period. The Explanatory Memorandum suggests this could include:
- taking out loans; or
- continuing to pay employees.
For example, it would also likely cover debts incurred in respect of:
- a new cleaning regime;
- delivery of food or products; and
- engaging consultants.
The new “safe harbour” is an automatic process providing personal protection for directors from the commencement date.
Despite these new provisions, Henry William Lawyers (insolvency specialists and AHA members) recommends all businesses act early with necessary or desirable restructuring action. Whilst a new defence to insolvent trading may partially address directors’ personal statutory liability concerns, new debt accruing through a period of no trade still may have crippling long term effects if not addressed as soon as possible. Further, this new law will not reduce potential liabilities for directors under personal guarantees. Commercial leverage to negotiate with key third parties will also be at its strongest in the earlier days.
We have received a request from the Department of Premier and Cabinet for information and data relating to the extent of employee stand downs and terminations over the past two weeks as a result of the trading restrictions that have been imposed. We appreciate that this is an incredibly difficult and busy time however ask if you can spare three minutes to answer a few short questions on the numbers of employees affected by stand down and termination across your business. This information will provide a strong basis to continue to inform Government around ongoing relief measures and also
You can access the survey here.
General Information Summary
Advice for your staff
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with your elbow or tissues, and discard used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
- NSW Health advise “Face masks are not recommended for the general population”
Hotels and Hospitality Businesses
This includes information relating to hotel/hospitality businesses including guest isolation and the cleaning of rooms.
Hotel staff cannot work in hotels if they have:
- transited through a higher risk country that requires isolation (which currently includes Mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea);
- been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has prepared a range of FAQ’s relating to the coronavirus, employee leave and entitlements which can be accessed at the following link:
Tax Deductible Gifts
We have received queries about providing stood down employees (who are not otherwise entitled to pay) with some form of gift (e.g. an Eftpos gift Card) to support them during any period of closure.
A gift to an employee is a tax deduction to the employer and is not subject to superannuation and would not incur any additional payroll tax or workers compensation insurance. Using the gift card example, this would be considered “cash” and there is no GST that can be claimed.
That said, the provision of a gift to an employee is a fringe benefit and could be subject to fringe benefits tax. There is an exemption to fringe benefits tax for minor benefits which are defined as infrequent with a value of less than $300, hence if a member decided to do this for an employee a value of say $250 would be prudent.
You should contact your accountant for specific professional advice in these circumstances.
Work Health and Safety
Safe Work Australia has compiled information relevant to persons conducting a business or undertaking.
The below link contains information from SafeWork NSW.
It is recommended that PCBUs ensure an appropriate cleaner is used in regularly wiping down surfaces throughout venues (including door handles, tables and chairs, handrails, ATM’s and gaming machines etc.).
Staff should also be regularly reminded of the critical importance of maintaining hygiene in the workplace (such as the regular washing of hands and use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitisers which should be readily available for staff).
Room cleaning staff should avoid close contact with guests who have self-isolated. They should wear gloves while cleaning, and use alcohol hand rub before and after wearing gloves.
PCBUs also have an obligation to consult with other PCBUs (such as external contractors attending the venue) to ensure that they are also taking necessary steps to comply with WHS obligations. We recommend that members seek written assurances from external contractors (particularly cleaning staff) that they have implemented all necessary measures to comply with their own obligations in terms of following the advice of public health authorities.
We have consulted with a range of industry insurance brokers who have advised that, generally speaking, a downturn or stoppage of trade as a result of a global pandemic such as the coronavirus would not enliven an insurance claim for disruption of trade.
Members are however encouraged to make their own enquiries of their insurance broker should the circumstances arise as individual policies may vary.
Public/General Health and Responding to Customer Concerns
A range of information relating to public and general health can be accessed at the links below:
Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/no…
NSW Health Corona Virus FAQS: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pa…
The current advice (as previously communicated to members) is that face masks are not required to be worn by members of the general public.
In terms of dealing with customer enquiries around the safety of patrons attending member venues, we recommend that members assure their customers that all reasonable steps are being taken to mitigate against the risk of transmission of infection within the venue (with reference to standard and additional cleaning measures as recommended by public health authorities and SafeWork NSW).
Message to Hostplus Partners
All of our industry partners are in our thoughts as we grapple with the unprecedent COVID-19 crisis confronting us. While this pandemic is having a huge health impact around the globe, we acknowledge the industries we serve being Hospitality, Tourism, Recreation and Sport are some of the most affected economically.
Hostplus stands side by side with you and with our broader community at this time.
As you would be aware, the Government recently announced a new scheme in relation to early release of superannuation. We understand that these early release changes to superannuation combined with the current COVID-19 crisis has raised many questions for our employers and members.
We therefore wanted to share with you the attached fact sheet which provides further details of the scheme and other options available to individuals.
It is important that you look after yourself, family, neighbours and friends, and access mental health and counselling services if required. The following people may be particularly vulnerable:
- Have a pre-existing mental illness
- Have a history of trauma
- Experiencing a recent bereavement
It is completely normal to experience a range of emotions, which may be experienced immediately, or sometimes much later, and may include:
- Overwhelming anxiety or fear
- Persistent sleep disturbance
- Distress that is interfering with your ability to carry out day-to-day activities
- Panic symptoms (e.g. racing heart, lightheaded, breathing difficulties)
Talk to your general practitioner or regular health care provider if you are experiencing health concerns or persistent mental health issues impacting your day-to-day life.
You can also call Service NSW on 13 77 88 for practical assistance and to be connected to local support services.
The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
A crisis support service that provides short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Available by phone or online via chat or email, to provide support on a range of mental health issues.
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 9978
A counselling service for men.
Kids Helpline: 1800 551800 or Kids Helpline
A free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.
NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
Mental health crisis telephone service in NSW.
Donation of Food Products to the Needy
If members have perishable food products they would like to donate to the homeless and the needy, OzHarvest can visit your venue and pick food up immediately.
0428 017 312
Takeaway and Home Delivery Liquor Sales
Who can sell takeaway liquor and home deliver in NSW at the moment?
Small bars and other licensed restaurants and cafes are now able to sell takeaway alcohol and deliveries.
This has been made possible by the Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division of the Department of Customer Service issuing a Statement of Regulatory Intent that outlines how compliance with certain requirements will be approached.
The statement indicates that a flexible approach will be taken where licensed venues wish to provide home delivery or takeaway services, even where those liquor licences do not authorise the sale of alcohol for consumption away from the premises.
You can only sell takeaway liquor and home deliver liquor if you have a current liquor licence – unlicensed venues are not able to sell liquor under any circumstances.
I do not have a liquor licence. Can I still take advantage of these arrangements?
No. Unlicensed venues are not able to sell liquor under any circumstances.
Are there trading hour restrictions?
Yes, you can only sell liquor during the existing trading hours on your licence.
However, if you have trading hours which extend beyond midnight you cannot sell liquor after midnight (or 11pm on Sundays). This is because bottle shops and hotels must cease takeaway and home delivery liquor sales at these times.
How long will these arrangements last?
The new arrangements came into force on 23 March 2020 and apply while the shutdown order is in force under the Public Health Act 2010.
How much and what type of alcohol can be sold?
There are no explicit limits on the volume of alcohol that can be supplied for consumption away from the licensed premise. However, formal regulations will be put in place should examples of inappropriate practices emerge.
There are no restrictions on the type of alcohol. Pre-mixed cocktails are permitted.
Are there any restrictions or obligations that licensees should be aware of?
Yes, compliance and enforcement action will be considered where risks to the community arise.
In particular, we will be monitoring and will take action in relation to:
- the sale or supply of alcohol to intoxicated persons, and/or
- sale or supply of alcohol to minors.
These are serious offences and will attract the strong, regulatory attention of Liquor & Gaming NSW.
What if my development consent prohibits takeaway sales?
The Statement of Regulatory Intent applies to regulatory action under the Liquor Act 2007 only. If you have any conditions on your development consent restricting sales of liquor for consumption off-premises you need to speak with your local development consent authority.
Do I need to complete additional training?
The licensee and any staff involved in the sale or supply of liquor must have a NSW RSA competency.
Licensees may also be required to hold a licensee competency – licensees should check their training requirements by using the Licensee training selector tool.
We are running with skeleton staff – is there anything I need to be aware of?
The licensee and any staff involved in the sale or supply of liquor must have a NSW RSA competency.
If the licensee is an organisation and the appointed manager leaves the position, a new approved manager with appropriate qualification should be appointed if the licence is trading.
Do I need to sell food with liquor?
No, however you should be aware of and comply with your Responsible Service of Alcohol obligations. We will be monitoring and take action in relation to:
- the sale or supply of alcohol to intoxicated persons, and/or
- sale or supply of alcohol to minors
Can you give me anything in writing about this?
The full text of the Statement of Regulatory Intent is located on our website www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au
I have an existing packaged liquor licence and/or hotel licence. Do these changes apply to me?
No. All existing liquor licence conditions and trading hours apply to packaged liquor and hotel licences. All existing regulatory obligations under the Liquor Act 2007 continue to apply to these licences.
A number of hotels will have made the decision to close down their hotel until the Covid-19 shutdown of licensed premises until the Public Health Order has been rescinded.
The attached checklist is a non-exhaustive list of some of the security processes and procedures you should adopt in closing down your hotel – particularly when you or other persons are not residing in the hotel.
AHA NSW LEGAL AND INDUSTRIAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
(02) 8218 1855
OUT OF HOURS PHONE CONTACT
0477 002 552