It’s now over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc across the globe, impacting us all in both big ways and small.
Of those to be hit the hardest were small business owners, resulting in our government rolling out many economic stimulus and support schemes to help keep us afloat.
The JobKeeper payment was the largest scheme rolled out to support businesses and not-for-profit organisations significantly affected by COVID-19 to help keep more Aussies in jobs, and on Sunday 28th March 2021 the scheme wraps up nationally.
We hope that your business is well on the way to recovery, and with the vaccines rolling out across the nation, we can finally start to feel a little more in control of our future. But whatever your situation, it’s good to have all the information. So, we’ve assembled some key considerations for preparing to say goodbye to JobKeeper.
Need to brush up on the ins-and-outs of JobKeeper? Head over to our blog here.
Things to consider for the end of JobKeeper
What is your cashflow for the next quarter?
If you’ve been relying on the JobKeeper payments, cashflow problems are going to be the biggest danger to your business over the next few months.
You need to start looking at the numbers now, with as much detail as you can, to put together a forecast to identify any holes or potential problems.
If you’re not confident, contact us or your accountant to ensure you’ve got it right. You need to have a crystal-clear understanding of how the next few months look financially, so you can realistically assess and make any adjustments.
Check out Eryan’s blog on tips to improve cash flow to help you get started.
It doesn’t stop there though, make sure you keep your forecast up-to-date as the months go on. Update costs, keep records of decisions, and keep an eye on spending and staffing decisions. The more consistent and accurate this is, the more confident you can be in the future.
Consider Tax Minimisation strategies to save on tax that could otherwise be spent keeping your business afloat, or consider a Tax Planning session to know your tax liability up to 12 months before it's due date (this will have a huge impact on managing your cashflow!)
Changes come into effect at midnight on March 28th - Talk to your staff beforehand
Mark this date in your calendar and ensure permanent staff salaries and hours revert back to their pre-COVID-19 levels. You’ll need their consent to change these rates, so if you’ve done your cash flow and you can’t support this, you’ll need to possibly have some tough conversations with your staff as well. Be conscious that you may need to consider redundancy pay, notice (or pay in lieu of notice) and/or leave entitlements if you need to let any employees go.
You should speak to a HR specialist if you aren’t sure if you are being compliant – Seeking advice before making final decisions will save you in financial and emotional costs from potential unfair dismissal claims in the future!
Be open and honest with your team through constant communication
This period of uncertainty and change can take a huge toll on employee engagement – Your team may be feeling worried about what the end of JobKeeper means for them.
Transparent communication with employees creates trust, which is crucial during difficult times. Speaking to each of your staff individually about any changes to their employment, and sending out a company-wide announcement about your end of JobKeeper management strategy, is a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page (Employment Hero).
Remember to consider your teams mental health and wellbeing when having these conversations.
We're not quite out of the woods yet
One thing we’ve learnt through all of this is that we can’t rely on anything to remain the same – Things can change overnight and despite the vaccine roll-out, we cannot be guaranteed there will be no further lockdowns or stops to business operations. Factor the unexpected into cash flow and business decisions over the next year (and beyond!), as this careful and cautious approach will be your key to continued business.
Government support doesn’t end with JobKeeper, you may be eligible for the JobMaker Scheme.
the 2020 Federal Budget announcement came the introduction of JobMaker Hiring
Credit. As businesses say goodbye to JobKeeper, JobMaker aims to encourage
small biz to hire new team members for a $100-$200 weekly
payment for eligible employees.
From 7 October 2020, eligible employers will be able to claim $200 a week for each additional eligible employee they hire aged 16 to 29 years old; and $100 a week for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years old.
For all key facts and information on eligibility, how to register, and examples on the JobMaker Hiring credit, read our “JobMaker Hiring Credit” blog.
As always, if you need help navigating the end of JobKeeper, determining if you are eligible for the JobMaker hiring credit, or for any assistance in cashflow planning or navigating the new normal, please get in contact with us. We wish you all the best in recovering your business through 2021.
10 ways to lower your tax bill
Prepare for EOFY and minimise your business tax with our free guide on 10 strategies you can consider (plus a few more strategies thrown in!) to make sure you don't pay more than you need to.
Considering strategies like taking advantage of ATO's temporary full expensing scheme, reviewing owners wages, and super contributions to reduce personal income tax liabilities are all things that could make a big difference on your tax bill.