Job Keeper Payments
28 September 2020
Why is this date such a significant date? For a number of businesses, and their employees, it will mark the end of Jobkeeper payments, with significant changes to other businesses as payment rates and criteria become more stringent.
By now, most businesses who have applied for the Jobkeeper payments will know that the purposes of these payments were to support businesses that were significantly affect by the COVID-19 pandemic, to help keep Australians in jobs. Having started from 30 March 2020, the Jobkeeper payment is open to eligible employers to enable them to pay each eligible employee’s salary/wages of at least AUD $1500 (before tax) per fortnight. Then these eligible employers will be reimbursed the amount for their employees. Most small businesses would have had at least a 30% reduction in turnover to be eligible for this payment.
The problem now is many business owners are putting off making important decisions as long as the Job Keeper payments continue to flow in. With the changes to the extended payment which commences 28 Sep 2020 and ends 28 March 2021, not every business will qualify as the Australian government has set further stringent criteria to ensure it benefits businesses which have been most significantly impacted.
To keep on holding out for a handout ignores the fact of whether the business was profitable or not before COVID-19, or whether the impact of COVID-19 has materially changed the ongoing viability of your business.
Many businesses have been kept afloat temporarily or artificially whilst Jobkeeper payments have been paid out by the Government but haven’t considered whether their business model is viable once these payments cease. Some businesses may not have even been having any cashflow since the shutdowns began and some may have already been facing difficulties since the commencement of 2020.
If you’re struggling and don’t know where to start, contact Andrew today for a free consultation.
These Jobkeeper payments are not a cure but a temporary reprieve.
You need to act soon for your business and get the advice on what needs to be done before these payments end. Even if the Jobkeeper payments continue, the criteria set may result in your business being ineligible at any point of time during the extension. This will not make your debts go away as the economy will not suddenly bounce back from where it was and may take a while to recover. In fact, with our international border closures (and ongoing internal hard borders closures like in Western Australia) probably lasting into the next year, holding on to unrealistic hope is only prolonging the pain that will come.
What do you need to consider?
- Take stock of your business’s financial position, profitability post 28 September 2020 and get the advice from a trusted financial advisor.
- Have you placed payments of rent, utilities and other financing costs on hold? Remember for some of these payments, it does not mean interest stops accumulating on them, and you may be in for a greater shock once the payments resume. Your overheads may still continue to mount.
- If your company is unable to pay its debts once Jobkeeper payments cease, consider the implications of going into liquidation. Keep in mind that if you provided a personal guarantee against any unpaid liabilities of the company, and if the company can’t pay the debts, you may be legally responsible to pay for that guarantee.
For business owners, you can also find out more on personal bankruptcy and liquidation of a company from the Australian Financial Security Authority website or details via their brochure via this link: https://www.afsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/bankruptcyliquidationbrochure.pdf
Remember you may not need to go into bankruptcy personally and there can be different ways of repaying your debt which you have not considered. However, if you have obtained the relevant advice to start thinking about the next steps from your accountants, lawyers or other financial advisors, it may be time to act.
Bite the bullet now! Don’t wait like the rest, get the necessary information today to make those important decisions for your current debts and have a solution ready for when these Jobkeeper payments will stop.
With over 70 years of combined experience with our team at Bankruptcy Advisory Centre, we pride ourselves on our personalized services, we treat each and every one of our clients with the respect and compassion they deserve, ensuring that obligations to both debtors and creditors are met fairly.
As a Trustee in Bankruptcy, Ross Thomson is often required to think outside the box. As well as creative thinking, Ross brings compassion to the table.
For Ross, it’s important to see the people behind the financial problem –not just numbers.
Ross recently helped a bankrupt client who lives in a retirement village with her seriously ill husband.
The unit she & her husband live in is not owned by them, but subject to a 20-year lease.
The money to be repaid by the management was due only at sale, when the client finally left the retirement village.
Sale of the unit was likely to take several years &, if he did sell the couple’s unit, Ross realised he would be effectively evicting them from their home, without resources or family to help them.
Ross decided to contact the retirement village management & put a proposal to them that they prepay some of the moneys they would otherwise pay the client.
The village management considered the proposal & have agreed to prepay some of the moneys otherwise due.
The client is relieved that she will not be evicted & can now concentrate on helping her husband through his health issues.
The moneys paid represented about 75% of what would have been available to creditors if they waited two years.
It is a win for the client and for the creditors.
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