COVID-19 update

23 March 2020

We know there’s some serious pressure on builders and tradies right now. We want you all to know we’ll be as ready as possible to continue to serve members – just like we have during other times of crisis.

This COVID-19 member update is unlocked and free to all in the interests of the building and construction industry. Did you know members have exclusive access to information and our team of experts who are on hand to assist in a range of ways? Need more specific COVID-19 advice relating to contracts, WHS, employment conditions or the relief measures? Members can contact us or learn how to join so you can speak with our experts and get free advice.

A culture of hygiene goes without saying. It’s the contingency plans we’re putting in place that count. And we’ll continue to adjust as the situation evolves.

We’re ready to go virtual, to keep our staff safe and ensure they’re on hand to provide you with the advice you need.

Construction an essential service

The advice today (23 March) is that construction sites are considered an essential service and remain open, but you must follow the social distancing rules on all sites and within your business. We’ll be doing the same.

Right now, we're lobbying hard to ensure the building and construction industry is considered an essential service for as long as possible. The industry is our biggest priority and we're talking daily with federal, state and local governments to ensure the industry is top of mind in all of their considerations.

Relief, stimulus & cashflow

Governments of all levels have issued relief and economic packages and measures, designed to support the economy and businesses, in particular small business.

We strongly recommend familiarising yourself with the options available to you and your business - whether it be cash flow boosts for employers, wage subsidies for apprentices, instant asset write-offs, tax relief, interest free loans and payroll tax deferrals, or waiving of council fees and charges. There is lots of relief already available.

If you haven't done so already, we also recommend discussing cashflow options, such as deferring ATO payments, varying PAYG instalments, as well as how to take advantage of the relief measures, with your accountant.

While the government has announced measures that will assist businesses with the impact of COVID-19, we’re urging them to do even more. It’s a crucial time for them to consider both stimulus and relief measures that will assist businesses and stimulate demand and confidence in both the short and long-term.

We’re calling on government to consider relief measures. These include delaying any new building industry legislation or regulation until 2021, and committing to not charging liquidated damages on commercial projects where delays are related to COVID-19.

We’re also urging government to consider stimulus measures that will create demand and bring confidence back. Measures like Bringing Back the Boost to the First Home Owner's Grant (FHOG), increasing capital expenditure on public buildings, increasing the FHOG to $40,000, expanding the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, extending the Household Resilience Program and introducing programs to stimulate the renovation market by funding homeowners to make homes more energy efficient, or more accessible.

Solutions that create demand and inject confidence back into the community to encourage consumers and investors to build new homes or invest in new projects, are desperately needed.

Advice & info

We’ve got important information and advice on issues with the building supply chain, how to contractually protect your business and reduce risk, common employment questions and FAQs and WHS issues.

Our staff are here to help. Whether you've got a question about protecting your business or want to understand the relief packages available to you, our specialists are here and available to talk you through the options – please get in touch on 1300 30 50 10 or contact us.

The uncertainties and impacts this brings to both your health and the economy is likely to have a big impact on the mental health of small business owners, workers and families. We can answer your questions about how to manage mental health in your workplaces (onsite, office or remote workplaces) or point you in the direction of external support.

Events & training

There'll be some necessary adjustments to our scheduled events and training and we'll be looking to do things a little differently (such as online delivery) – but we’ll monitor the advice and keep you posted as things change. If you're registered for an event or training course, please check your inbox for updates.

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