Together, Australian manufacturing can stay open and return to full capacity
Australian manufacturers know how to work together to get things done, including keeping workplaces COVID-19 safe. As restrictions are eased throughout Australia and more employees return to the workplace, caution should still be taken to keep COVID-19 numbers low, workers safe, and businesses productive.
Being vigilant and joining forces as an industry ensures resilience. Together, we can ensure businesses are able to stay open and return to full capacity.
Tips to Keep Your Business Ahead of the COVID-19 Curve
To stay ahead of the curve, manufacturers can take four simple steps:
- Prepare: Prepare a plan so employees and customers know what to expect day-to-day, as well as in the event of a COVID-19 incident
- Prevent: Prevent the spread of COVID-19 with social distancing measures, barriers, and hygiene practices.
- Respond: Should one of your employees or customers become infected, respond immediately and seek the appropriate medical advice.
- Recover: Ensure your business recovers as quickly as possible by establishing cleaning and testing protocols.
Resources, Support and Funding
To help businesses remain competitive and return to full capacity as quickly as possible, the Federal and State Governments, along with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), have announced several measures and released a comprehensive array of resources.
Government Support and Funding
The Government has released several measures to help alleviate issues related to short-term cash flow and taxation debt. Just some of these include:
- JobKeeper for employers and employees, and for sole traders and other entities: Under the JobKeeper payment, businesses, sole traders and other entities impacted by COVID-19 are able to access a subsidy to continue paying their employees. The Government will provide a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee until the end of September 2020.
- Relief for commercial tenants: The Government has announced a range of measures to help renters, including a temporary hold on evictions and a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to help support SMEs.
- Tax Support: The ATO is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by COVID-19, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information.
- Each Australian State and Territory has announced a range of measures to help assist businesses affected by COVID-19. These measures range from grants and tax relief, through to business recovery support.
Workplace Health and Safety Support
According to Safe Work Australia, to keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19, every employer should do the following:
- Allow workers to work from home, where possible
- Ensure physical distancing by keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres between people
- Encourage all workers to frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and to practise good hygiene
- Be aware of how to spot COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) and make sure workers do not come to work if they are unwell
- Make sure your workplace is regularly cleaned and disinfected
- Have signs and posters around the workplace to remind workers and others of the risks of COVID-19 and the measures that are necessary to stop its spread.
Safe Work Australia Resources
Safe Work Australia has a wide range of resources available, including:
- Advice on how to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in your workplace
- Free, downloadable signs and posters for workplaces
- Industry-specific COVID-19 information
- COVID-19 Resource Kit: This contains several extremely useful, practical checklists:
Business Continuity Resources
The Federal Government has a host of information and resources available for Australian companies focused on business continuity. You can discover the positive steps you can take to help keep your business operating, including:
- Plan your recovery: Planning can help you identify critical business areas, keep your business running, outline new business goals and adapt to change.
- Assess your finances: Take control of your finances, analyse your cash flow and update your budget to keep your business operational. Manage your debt and find resources for getting invoices paid on time.
- Communicate with your customers: Get tips on how to communicate and support your customers and learn how to manage marketing and keep your customers loyal.
- Keep your business healthy: Keeping your business healthy is not just about workplace health and safety. Understand how to update your policies, procedures, and processes, as well as how to spot scams.