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As advised by the Queensland State Government, 11 Local Government Areas in South East Queensland have been locked down until 4pm Sunday 8 August (at the earliest). This means that we are once again faced with the difficult and painful decision about standing down those staff we cannot offer gainful employment.

We have prepared a template Stand Down Notice which is attached to this newsletter. You may adjust the notice as indicated and fill in the details where identified.

The situation for your employees is this, they can either access accrued annual leave, or long service leave (subject to eligibility) during this period, or they can access the social security payments offered through Services Australia. These payments are the same as JobKeeper in value, but are not paid through the employer. The payments are made directly by the Government into the employee’s account. Your employees must apply to the Government directly for these payments and the employer plays no role in the arrangement at all.  It is essential that your staff act as quickly as possible to ensure they do not suffer any delays in receiving funding.

The rules of this Lockdown are somewhat stricter than those of last year with all retail (other than food retail and essential retail) being directed to close. Therefore, the definitions around who are “essential workers” are also more restrictive than previously. However, we do not recommend any employee of a service “interrogate” a parent over whether they are an essential worker. It is the parent who will be penalised if they are breaching the rules, not the service who accepts a parent’s word. We recommend that the service use the numbers from last year as a good guide as to who will be attending the service over the next few weeks.

It is the Employee who makes the claim application (not the employer) and they do so via their MyGov account. The employee will be asked (as part of the application) for their employer ABN – so employers should provide this to their employees along with a copy of the bulletin or link to Services Australia website to guide them with application.

The Employee can submit their claim application from Sunday the 8th of August